Priscilla Presley has said her former husband, Elvis Presley, “wasn’t racist”. The 77-year-old matriarch, who promotes Baz Luhrmann Elvisappeared on Piers Morgan uncensored where they discussed how the iconic singer would cope in the age of #MeToo culture and cancel. While Elvis is dubbed the “King of Rock and Roll”, issues surrounding cultural appropriation go hand in hand with his legacy.
“For a long time it was said that Elvis was racist. He wasn’t racist. He was never racist. Elvis had friends, black friends, friends from everywhere. He loved their music, he loved their style. He loved being around black musicians,” Priscilla said, noting Elvis’ friendships with Fats Domino and Sammy Davis Jr.
“He loved, loved being with black people and being with anyone, really. He had no prejudice. He was in no way racist,” Priscilla continued. “So I don’t know, it’s a very scary time. It’s almost like we’re looking for something from everyone that we can kind of expose them somehow, it’s why is it so scary right now.”
Elvis met Priscilla when she was just 14 years old. The two married when she was 21 and he was 32; however, Priscilla wrote in her autobiography that they did not have sex before marriage.
Morgan wondered if Elvis “would have survived this weird cancel culture that we now have to endure.”
“That’s a good question, I often think about it,” Priscilla replied, before getting into politics. “You know, what would Elvis think? He wouldn’t believe what’s happening right now in this country, or anywhere, what’s happening on this planet. He was very concerned about our presidents, who were running the country.”
The British talk show host pressed her on what Elvis would think about ‘what’s going on in the United States right now’
“He wouldn’t believe it,” Priscilla replied. “I don’t think any of us believe what’s going on right now. We’ve never been through anything like this and it’s pretty much global. But we as a country, it’s is confusing. It’s really confusing. For the first time, I’m worried about my future, [the future of] my children, my grandchildren too, it’s very unpredictable. Elvis would probably go up to the president, like he did with Nixon, put his foot down and say, ‘What’s going on?'”
When asked what she found particularly disturbing, Priscilla replied, “The state we find ourselves in.”
“I don’t know what happened to freedom. I don’t know if there’s more freedom here,” she continued, explaining that people have to “be very careful what you say, the way you put it. I think we’re in a very dangerous time.”
MORE: Elvis actors and director on how Austin Butler won the role and on the topic of cultural appropriation