Sunday’s Emmys Awards brought a staunchly anti-Trump edition of the annual ceremony — and perhaps no moment was more political than the feisty reunion of Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda. The three stars of the hit ’80s film 9 to 5 minced few words in terms of implying that President Trump is a sexist bigot.
After the Hollywood legends were greeted with an instant standing ovation from the audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the perpetually luminous Parton kicked things off by commenting that she’d been wanting a reunion of the famously feminist farce ever since its 1980 release. And Fonda, the most notoriously outspoken of the trio, ran with the movie’s theme of standing up to sexism, noting, “Back in 1980, in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”
Tomlin then followed up Fonda’s quip with, “And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”
The women were onstage to present the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, but each was up for an Emmy herself. Parton was nominated in the TV movie category for her autobiographical Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love (though she ultimately lost to Black Mirror’s “San Junipero.”) And Tomlin and Fonda were both nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for their Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie (they lost to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s record-breaking Veep sweep). Though none of the three took home an Emmy on Sunday, they stole the spotlight from many of the evening’s other contenders.
The attention getter, predictably, was Parton, who trended briefly worldwide on Twitter following the presentation. “If it hadn’t been for good support,” she said, comparing the Supporting Actor category to her famously voluptuous cleavage, “Shock and Awe here would be more like Flopsy and Droopy.” About Grace and Frankie, she joked, “I'm just hoping that I am going to get one of those Grace and Frankie vibrators in my swag bag today” — referring to the show’s viral season two sex toy gag.
Clearly, these women haven’t lost their knack for comedy, either within or outside of regular business hours.