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Dolly Parton Apologizes for Dollywood Gay T-Shirt Incident

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

If you were surprised when you heard about all the hubbub that erupted over a Dollywood guest’s choice of t-shirt, you aren’t alone: Dolly Parton — who just so happens to own the park — is trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

Parton has also personally reached out to Olivier Odom, the guest who was asked to turn her ‘Marriage Is So Gay’ shirt inside out when the park host determined that it violated Dollywood’s family-friendly dress code.

“I am truly sorry for any hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian T-shirt incident at Dollywood’s Splash Country recently,” Parton said. “Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome. We do have a policy about profanity or controversial messages on clothing or signs. It is to protect the individual wearing or carrying them, as well as to keep down fights or problems by those opposed to it at the park. We even offer free shirts in exchange to those who want to remain on the park.

“I am and was on tour when this was brought to my attention and I am looking further into the incident and hope and believe it was more policy than insensitivity,” Parton continued. “I am very sorry it happened at all.”

Odom, who complied with the park host’s request that she turn her shirt inside out, referred to her tee’s slogan as a “political statement of equality” after the incident, and noted that other Dollywood guests were allowed to enter the park with Confederate flags on their clothing.

[Taste of Country]

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