Dolly Parton has a catalog full of classic songs and one of the most recognizable is “9 To 5,” which has become a workers’ anthem over the years. On the chorus of the iconic tune, she sings, “Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living / Barely gettin’ by, it’s all taking and no giving / They just use your mind and you never get the credit / It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it.” With all that in mind, people are disappointed in Parton’s new Super Bowl commercial for SquareSpace.
For the ad, Parton re-worked “9 To 5” into a new version called “5 To 9,” which is meant to honor the side hustle. Parton said of the ad, “Well I work 365 [days a year]. I’m always working 5 to 9, 9 to 5. I work all hours of the night and day. Whatever you need to do, you gotta get it done, however many hours it takes.”
That said, since the original song touches on themes of being overworked, it seems to some the new song betrays the point of the original. As one Twitter user wrote, “Dolly Parton’s now made a version of her ‘9 to 5’ song for an ad celebrating… side hustles. Great, we can now all work ‘5 to 9’ on top of the other eight hours.” Somebody else added, “Dolly should not have made that 5 to 9 song for SquareSpace. The original song was to complain about the overwhelming burden of work. This contravenes that by glorifying this ‘work is a virtue, you have to hustle’ narrative.”
And for a really, really depressing footnote proving my point – Dolly Parton's now made a version of her "9 to 5" song for an ad celebrating… side hustles. Great, we can now all work "5 to 9" on top of the other eight hours. https://t.co/4Uk4cDXJe3
— Irina Dumitrescu (@irinibus) February 2, 2021
Dolly should not have made that 5 to 9 song for SquareSpace. The original song was to complain about the overwhelming burden of work. This contravenes that by glorifying this "work is a virtue, you have to hustle" narrative.
— Uncle Ari (@MazeDaMouth) February 2, 2021
Those tweets echo a lot of other reactions people online are having, so check out some more responses to the ad below, and check out the commercial above.
Creative brief for that Dolly Parton 5 to 9 Squarespace ad is pretty messed up pic.twitter.com/jk8zVFMwOi
— Mysterious Alloys (@fritolaysia) February 2, 2021
just said "dolly no" out loud to no one https://t.co/0BAfOpa9Bm
— Brian Grubb (@briancgrubb) February 2, 2021
Never would I ever criticize a single choice Dolly Parton has made, and I can understand how many will find her new Superbowl ad inspiring, and I'm sure she agreed to this in that spirit, but I'm having trouble reading this as anything but… bleak: pic.twitter.com/25CsCqeXXg
— Hilary Hughes (@hilmonstah) February 2, 2021
I love Dolly more than almost anything, but this ain’t it. People shouldn’t have to work 5 to 9 monetizing their hobbies and free-time just to make ends meet. Their 9 to 5 should pay a livable wage. https://t.co/MZWeYbFMuI
— Kevin Maloney (@KevinMalogna) February 2, 2021
i completely get the reactions to dolly’s 5 to 9. i’m not a fan of it, but given her backstory, i can absolutely see her interpretation of a side hustle is you gotta do what you gotta do to get by, which in no way conflicts with the fact that we shouldn’t have to work two jobs
— Tracy Moore (@iusedtobepoor) February 2, 2021