"He had friends, Black friends, friends from all over."

Priscilla Presley disputed the popular narrative that her late ex-husband Elvis was racist, citing his friendship and admiration for Black musicians.

Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic starring Austin Butler — depicting the late King of Rock and Roll's harmonious ties with Black musicians like B.B. King and as someone deeply moved by the Civil Rights Movement — has re-shined a light on Elvis' complicated relationships with Black musicians (revered producer Quincy Jones once called him a "racist mother—") and allegations of cultural appropriation and exploitation.

Priscilla addressed the film's handling of that particular part of Elvis' legacy during an appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored Tuesday, after Morgan asked whether Elvis could "survive this weird cancel culture that we now have to endure" today. "Per the movie, [for] a long time, it was stated that Elvis was a racist," Priscilla said. "He was not a racist. He had never been a racist."

"He had friends, Black friends, friends from all over," she continued, citing Fats Domino and Sammy Davis Jr. as examples. "He loved their music. He loved their style. He loved being around Black musicians. He loved, loved being around Blacks. He loved being around anyone, actually. He was not prejudiced in any way. He was not racist in any way."

She said "It's like we're looking for something from everyone so we can somehow expose them in some way," adding, "It's frightening right now." Priscilla, as well as daughter Lisa Marie and granddaughter Riley Keough, has praised Butler's performance in the film, calling it a "true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered."

Priscilla Presley
Elvis Presley, says former wife Priscilla Presley, was not racist
| Credit: Kobal/Shutterstock

Last month, the Elvis cast and crew spoke to EW about paying tribute to the ways in which Black music and culture contributed to Elvis' legacy. "I'm so grateful that I get to be a part of a film that finally puts his life in context and gives credit where credit is due," Butler said. "We don't have Elvis without Black music and without Black culture. He grew up in one of three white houses in a predominantly Black neighborhood. He felt like they were all part of the same family."

Watch Priscilla's interview with Morgan above.

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