Dolly Parton has dropped “Dixie,” and not everyone is happy about it.
The Country Music Hall of Famer’s dinner theater – a family-friendly show involving horse-riding tricks as well as music – has been known as Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede at its locations in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Branson, Mo.
But the enterprise has been rebranded as “Dolly Parton’s Stampede,” effective immediately.
“We…recognize that attitudes change and feel that by streamlining the names of our shows, it will remove any confusion or concerns about our shows and will help our efforts to expand into new cities,” Parton said in a statement about the rebranding.
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Jim Rule, who is CEO of the World Choice Investments, the company that operates the attraction, added, “There is interest in several parts of the United States and internationally to host one of our unique dinner attraction shows. We continually listen to our guests and our desire to expand coupled with our desire to stay relevant in today’s changing world led us to simplify our shows’ names.”
Reaction was swift on Twitter and Facebook, where critics seemed to be casting the decision as an extension of recent debates over Confederate statuary.
“I can’t believe that Dolly Parton caved in to the Stupid brainwashed liberals changing the name of Dixie Stampede,” wrote one person on Twitter.
On Facebook, another naysayer decried the “liberal agenda of trying to remove our history” by changing the name: “Remove Dixie from Dixie stampede and you remove our family from ever attending your show again.”
One person even claimed the @DixieStampede Twitter handle, still linked to the official Dolly Parton’s Stampede website. The name? Bring Back Dixie, with the slogan “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God” in the photo position.
But the response wasn’t all negative. Admonished one fan on Twitter, “Dolly haters be gone!”