Reba Is ‘Disappointed’ With Tennessee’s Anti-Drag Bill
Reba McEntire is a lot like Dolly Parton when it comes to discussing politics. As a rule, she doesn’t do it. So what she said to the L.A. Times recently about the anti-drag bill in Tennessee was a rare moment for her.
That bill passed, restricting “adult cabaret performances” in public or in the presence of children and banning them from occurring within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, or places of worship.
The Times reporter asked her, “What do you think about the bill that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee recently signed into law restricting drag performances in certain parts of the state?” Reba replied, “I wish they would spend that much time and energy and money on feeding the homeless children in those two counties.” The reporter then asked if she was surprised, and she said, “Disappointed.”
Reba then noted, “I don’t do politics. Never have. My job is to entertain. I’m not there to influence people one way or another on how to vote.”
When asked if she felt she might alienate some of her audience with her take on the drag bill, she said, “Boy, why? I mean, we’ve got a real problem in this country, and to be worrying about men wanting to dress up as women? God bless ’em to wear those high heels — I feel for ’em. But let’s center our attention on something that really needs attention.”
Even though she expressed her thoughts on the matter, she did stay out of the Maren Morris comments on country music being split into two halves. She said, “That does not apply to me. I try to stay away from disagreements and confrontations.”
In the same interview, Reba talked about the pain from her divorce back in 2015 after 26 years of marriage to her manager Narvel Blackstock. She said of getting a divorce after years of singing about it in her songs, “It’s like the knife’s in, and somebody twists it a little bit. There’s a segment in my show that’s all the heartbreak songs: ‘You Lie,’ ‘The Last One to Know,’ ‘Somebody Should Leave,’ ‘What Am I Gonna Do About You.’ I’ll remember where I was when I recorded the song, what stage of my life I was in.”
She added, “I’ll get choked up. I never have broken down to cry, but a part of that scar tissue breaks loose. It hurts.” She has never broke down in tears during a show. She said, “I wouldn’t go that far. I can look at an exit sign and think about how you spell that backwards and get out of it.” It’s a trick she got from her mother, “Mama told me one time — she said, ‘Are you nervous?’ I said, ‘A little bit nervous.’ She said, ‘Look at the exit signs.’ Takes you out of it for a little bit, where you can take a breath and go right back into it.