Dolly Parton Targeted Over Super Bowl Ad Singing About Hard Work, and We’re Not Here for It

by Matthew Wilson

Dolly Parton, score 1. Kim Kelly: 0. The opinion writer tried to drag the country music icon through the mud for her most recent Super Bowl ad. And she’s ticked off a lot of business owners in the process.

Let’s back up a moment and examine the Parton ad that’s apparently so disappointing that this writer felt they needed to write an entire column about it. The country singer lent her classic song “9 to 5” to a Squarespace commercial during Sunday’s big football matchup. The commercial featured an inverse of the song, “working 5 to 9,” and it promoted the service as a place for small businesses and side hustles.

Because let’s face it, tons of successful businesses once started out as a side hustle. Even Hollywood actors worked day jobs as waiters and other gigs before finally hitting it big. But Kelly found the commercial to be tone-deaf. In her article below, she wrote that the article promoted a culture of overworking and that Dolly Parton was little more than a puppet for Big Tech’s propaganda.

Outsider Stands by Dolly Parton

Are side businesses all cupcakes and kittens? No, they’re a lot of work, and sometimes they don’t always pay off. But they can lead to success, and more importantly, they’re a group of people following their passions and dreams. This country was founded on the idea that if you work hard and with enough perseverance, you can make your dreams happen. So, we’re 100% standing by Dolly Parton on this one.

Kelly’s column takes a very narrow and critical view of middle-class America. She creates a dire image of the overworked, over-stressed worker with hardly an hour to themselves. But she ignores the benefits of starting your own business, of putting in those hours, and watching a business thrive into something truly beautiful. She ignores how a local community can rally around someone and lift them up to bigger and better things. And how local businesses can return the favor to the community around them.

Her column is devoid of passion, the same passion many have when they strike out on their own. Kelly’s column ignores that nothing happens without hard work. Outsider knows a bit about both hard and smart work. In the vast sea of various kinds of media organizations, you have to. But we were founded on the principles of work ethic, perseverance, and collaboration. More on that story here.

We’ll keep chipping away at it and encourage you to follow your passions, whatever they may be. Put the work in and get it done. We can’t promise that it will lead you to success. But we do know that success is rarely ever easily won. So as Parton says, we’ll just keep “working, working, working.”