We’re no longer living in the Before Times, so it’s kind of difficult to be surprised by anything. Like when the big stupid president person wonders—aloud, on television, in front of millions of eyeballs and ear-holes—if we should inject disinfectant into our bodies to kill the coronavirus. But occasionally there are things that are not surprising in a good way. Like when you find out that Dolly Parton was an uncredited executive producer on Buffy The Vampire Slayer because of course she was, she’s Dolly Fucking Parton and she’s empowering as hell. A queen who truly proves that, yes, you can do it. You can have it all.
This new-to-us news seems to have started with a simple tweet—as most things do:
That’s when Entertainment Weekly stepped in with a little background: Back in 1986, Parton co-founded Sandollar Productions with her former manager, Sandy Gallin. The company produced the 1992 Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie—though not exactly a success at the box office, it did become a cult favorite. Gail Berman, an executive at Sandollar, (very correctly) sensed that Buffy could reach a wider audience under the right circumstances—like perhaps a TV show. So Sandollar backed Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the TV series, which did indeed become a massive hit and ran for seven seasons. While Parton’s name does not appear in the credits, Sandollar does, which means Dolly Parton not only quietly produced one of the greatest contemporary TV shows, but she helped give us one of the greatest female protagonists of all time.
EW went a step further and dug up a 2016 New York Times interview with Berman, in which she shared another great Dolly story from the ’90s: Upon finding out that Berman was receiving less royalty money from Buffy than her male colleagues at Sandollar, Parton personally handed Berman a check. Isn’t it nice to read about nice things that nice people do? Be more like Dolly, everyone.