Priscilla Presley is pushing back against the narrative that her late ex-husband and music legend Elvis Presley was racist. Due to the Baz Luhrman biopic starring Austin Butler as The King, there’s been renewed attention around Elvis’ allegedly racist background. While the film shows the iconic crooner being moved by the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, it does touch on the belief that Elvis carried prejudices, which Priscilla did not appreciate.
“Per the movie, [for] a long time it was stated that Elvis was a racist,” Priscilla said in a new interview with Piers Morgan. “He was not a racist. He had never been a racist. He had friends, Black friends, friends from all over. He loved their music, he loved their style. He loved being around Black musicians.”
Priscilla took things further by calling out the need to “expose” everyone. Via IndieWire:
“He loved, loved being around Blacks. He loved being around anyone, actually,” Priscilla continued. “He was not prejudiced in any way. He was not racist in any way. It’s like we’re looking for something from everyone so we can somehow expose them in some way. It’s frightening right now.”
Sensing an opening, Morgan asked Priscilla what Elvis would think of today’s “cancel culture,” and the British broadcaster certainly got the quote he was fishing for.
“Elvis would probably go to the president, like he did with Nixon,” Priscilla said. “Put his foot down and say, ‘What is going on?’ I don’t know what happened to freedom. I don’t know if there is freedom here anymore. I think we’re in a very dangerous time.”
Remembering The Kindness Elvis Presley And A Dance In A Gifted Coat
Four decades passed from the time I met Elvis until I danced in the mink coat that he gave to his bodyguard’s wife. As she told the story, Elvis had needed her husband to work on her birthday. Believing strongly in family ties, Elvis felt badly that he had interrupted the celebration.
So of course, he gave her a mink coat.
“A few days later, a car pulled up to the house and a big box was delivered,’ she told me.
Inside was a gorgeous mink coat and a handwritten note of apology from her husband’s boss, The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
I was in her home to interview her for a series of stories I was writing about Elvis.
“He was good-hearted and very generous,” she said just before asking me if I’d like to see the coat. Then she disappeared up a winding staircase that was flanked by a full-length bejeweled Elvis show costume encased in glass.
“Would you like to try it on?” she asked when she reappeared with the coat.
Really, was that even a question? Would I like to try on a mink coat that was a gift from Elvis Presley!
The bodyguard’s widow graciously held the coat open for me and I snuggled into it and spontaneously started dancing around the living room. I was a long way from the teenager who knocked on the door of Elvis Presley’s hotel suite hoping for an autograph but treated to a personal serenade, a goodbye kiss and a lifetime of stories she would never tire of telling.
I was thinking about these stories as I watched the new Elvis movie. No longer a screaming schoolgirl who watched all of the Elvis movies multiple times, delighted by every move he made, every song he sang, every smile he flashed, this time I was viewing the soul and sadness of a legend. This time I cried at the stunning truths that were revealed as well as the artful sense and style of the production.
Elvis will always remain who I wanted him to be. Who he was at our first and only meeting. A well-mannered Southern boy who took time to be kind.
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