Priscilla Presley defends Elvis against racism claims: 'He loved, loved being around Blacks'

·2-min read

Priscilla Presley says former husband Elvis Presley "was not a racist." The 77-year-old matriarch, who is promoting Baz Luhrmann's Elvis, appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored where they discussed how the iconic singer would fare in the #MeToo and cancel culture era. While Elvis is dubbed the "King of Rock and Roll," questions surrounding cultural appropriation go hand in hand with his legacy.

"For a long time it was stated that Elvis was a racist. He was not a racist. He's never been a racist. Elvis had friends, Black friends, friends from all over. He loved their music, he loved their style. He loved being around Black musicians," Priscilla declared, noting Elvis's friendships with Fats Domino and Sammy Davis Jr.

"He loved, loved being around Blacks and being around anyone, actually. He was not prejudiced in any way. He was not racist in any way," Priscilla continued. "So I don't know, this is a very frightening time. It's almost like we're looking for something from everyone that we can somehow expose them in some way, that's why it's so frightening right now."

Elvis met Priscilla when she was only 14. The two wed when she was 21 and he was 32; however, Priscilla wrote in her autobiography they didn't have a sexual relationship until marriage.

Morgan mused whether Elvis "would have survived this weird cancel culture that we now have to endure."

"That's a good question, I think of that often," Priscilla replied, before getting political. "You know, what would Elvis think? He wouldn't believe what is going on right now to this country, or all over, what's happening to this planet. He was very concerned about our presidents, who was ruling the country."

The British talk show host pressed her on what Elvis would think about "what's currently going on in the U.S."

"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 us as a country, it's baffling. It's truly baffling. For the first time, I'm worried about my future, [the future of] my children, my grandchildren as well, it's very unpredictable. Elvis would probably go to the president, like he did with Nixon, put his foot down and say, 'What's going on?'"

When asked what she finds particularly worrisome, Priscilla replied, "The state that we're in."

"I don't know what happened to freedom. I don't know if there is freedom here anymore," she continued, explaining people have to "be very careful what you say, how you say it. I think we're in a very dangerous time."

MORE: Elvis cast and director on how Austin Butler won the role and taking on the topic of cultural appropriation