Priscilla Presley Fires Back Against Claims That Elvis Was Racist

by Caitlin Berard

Whether you’re an international superstar or experience your fifteen minutes in the spotlight with a single viral moment online, any amount of fame comes with a high level of scrutiny. And when you’re Elvis Presley, one of the most famous people in history, that scrutiny is heightened even further.

So while The King of Rock and Roll continues to receive an immense amount of praise and adoration, even 45 years after his death, he also continues to receive criticism. Chief among these criticisms is that Elvis Presley appropriated Black culture with his music, performances, and style while being a racist.

In a recent interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, however, Priscilla Presley set out to quash what she feels is a gross misrepresentation of her ex-husband for good. “For a long time, it was stated that Elvis was a racist,” she explained. “He was not a racist. He’s never been a racist. Elvis had friends, Black friends, friends from all over.”

“He loved their music, he loved their style, he loved being around Black musicians,” she added, pointing to Elvis Presley’s public friendships with Fats Domino and Sammy Davis Jr. “[Elvis] loved, loved being around Blacks and being around anyone, actually. He was not prejudiced in any way, he was not racist in any way.”

“So I don’t know, this is a very frightening time,” she continued. “It’s almost like we’re looking for something from everyone that we can somehow expose them in some way. That’s why it’s so frightening right now.”

Elvis Presley is and will always be hugely famous. In the interview with Piers Morgan, however, Priscilla Presley doubted that The King would fare as well in today’s climate. Referring to the “weird cancel culture” that we “have to endure,” Piers asked Priscilla her thoughts on the matter.

“You know, what would Elvis think?” she replied. “He wouldn’t believe what is going on right now in this country, or all over, what’s happening to this planet. [Elvis] was very concerned about our presidents, who was ruling the country.”

“He wouldn’t believe it,” Priscilla continued. “I don’t think any of us believe what’s going on right now. We’ve never been through anything like this and it’s pretty much global. But us as a country, it’s baffling. It’s truly baffling.”

“For the first time, I’m worried about my future, [the future of] my children, my grandchildren as well, it’s very unpredictable. Elvis would probably go to the president, like he did with Nixon. [He would] put his foot down and say, ‘What’s going on?'”

“I don’t know what happened to freedom,” she continued. “[People have to] be very careful what you say, how you say it. I think we’re in a very dangerous time.”