- Former President Barack Obama said that his administration made a mistake by not awarding Dolly Parton the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
- “Actually, that was a screwup. I’m surprised. I think I assumed that she had already gotten one, and that was incorrect,” Obama told “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert.
- Parton, an iconic singer, actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian, has received many accolades over her long career, including nine Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and recognition at the Kennedy Center Honors.
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Former President Barack Obama said that it was a “screwup” of his administration that Dolly Parton was never awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
During an interview with “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert that aired on Monday, Obama was taken aback when he found out that Parton hasn’t received the distinguished award.
“That’s a mistake,” Obama said. “I’m shocked.”
“Looking back at your eight years, do you realize that’s the mistake you made?” Colbert asked.
“Actually, that was a screwup,” Obama replied. “I’m surprised. I think I assumed that she had already gotten one, and that was incorrect.”
He added: “She deserves one. I’ll call [President-elect Joe] Biden.”
—A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) December 1, 2020
Parton, an iconic singer, actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian, has received many accolades during her long career, including nine Grammy Awards and multiple Country Music Association Award nominations, along with the National Medal of Arts in 2005. In 2006, she was recognized for her lifetime contribution to the arts at the Kennedy Center Honors.
The Medal of Freedom is bestowed by the President of the United States “to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
During Obama’s presidency, he awarded the Medal of Freedom to an array of public figures and musicians, including Michael Jordan, Madeleine Albright, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Emilio and Gloria Estefan, among others.
This past April, Parton donated $1 million for coronavirus research at Vanderbilt University, which partially funded Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. In November, the biotechnology firm announced that their vaccine is 94.5% effective at preventing the virus.
Source: Obama: ‘A screwup’ that he didn’t give Dolly Parton a Medal of Freedom
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