Dolly Parton Challenge Used by Police Forces to Hunt Suspected Criminals, Sparking Social Media Praise: 'You Win the Internet Today'

The "Dolly Parton Challenge," created by the country singer herself, has dominated the world of memes at the start of 2020 and spawned numerous imitations.

Parton's Twitter post on January 21 was captioned "Get you a woman who can do it all," alongside a montage of images she would hypothetically use to represent herself on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder.

The viral post by the 9 to 5 star was liked by more than a quarter of a million people and reinterpreted by celebrities like Mark Hamill, Mark Ruffalo and Miley Cyrus.

Get you a woman who can do it all 😉

— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) January 21, 2020

It also inspired two police forces in England seeking suspected criminals for questioning.

Last Friday, Durham Constabulary, in County Durham in the north-east of the country, posted a montage of Paul Bishop on Twitter. They wanted to speak to him "in connection with a suspected burglary which occurred in December."

Images of Bishop with a gamut of expressions were superimposed over four locations.

Have you seen Paul Bishop?

We’d like to speak to him in connection with a suspected burglary which occurred in December.

If you have seen him or know where he is, please call Peterlee Police team on 101. #DollyPartonChallenge

— Durham Constabulary (@DurhamPolice) January 24, 2020

He seemingly has his "game face" is on in an office in a fake LinkedIn image. For a mocked-up Tinder shot, he looks like he getting his groove on in a nightclub, while his Instagram image depicts him appreciating a bit of history in front of the Colosseum in Rome.

Police reserve his biggest smile for a fake Facebook shot where he is depicted enjoying some downtime in the great outdoors.

"If you have seen him or know where he is, please call Peterlee Police team on 101," the police tweet said, followed by the hashtag #DollyPartonChallenge.

Social media users were quick to give some serious props to the police force, with one replying "That's it. You win the #DollyPartonChallenge. It's over, people. Just pack it up, Twitter, and go on home." Another wrote: "You win the internet today."

Less than 30 miles further south in North Yorkshire, Cleveland Police was inspired to do the same thing in its search for 32-year-old Scott Mizsei, who is wanted for questioning in connection with aggravated burglary.

The police force posted images of him smiling with a shirt on (LinkedIn), taking a selfie in sunglasses but with no shirt on (Facebook), and sporting a hoodie, chain and cigarette (Instagram).

The police's faux Tinder profile image has a repeat of the sunglasses on-shirt off, combination. His bare torso shows off three tattooed words below his clavicle, although only the last two of them—"before dishonour"—are visible.

Have you seen wanted man Scott Mizsei, 32?

He is wanted in connection with a number of offences including aggravated burglary.

Do not approach him if you see him & call 101 with info RE his whereabouts.

Thanks @DurhamPolice for inspiring our post!#DollyPartonChallenge

— Cleveland Police UK (@ClevelandPolice) January 28, 2020

With the tweet read the message: "Do not approach him if you see him & call 101 with info RE his whereabouts. Thanks @DurhamPolice for inspiring our post! #DollyPartonChallenge."

Social media users also praised the move, one tweeting: "Hilarious but actually helpful to show the different 'looks' of someone - go @DollyParton changing the hunt for criminals ! Like it." Another wrote: "Love this and hope he's found. Great concept. Other LE agencies should do it."

In a statement to Newsweek, Cleveland Police's head of communications Will Green said they had previously made media and social media appeals to trace Mizsei but without success "so we decided to do something a little different."

"We don't take such appeals in any way lightly and follow the relevant national policing guidance but that doesn't mean we can't seek to make appeals as engaging as possible which is what we did here."

"I don't know if we'll do it again; a lot of the positives from this style came from it being unusual and a first," Green said.

"All I can say is that we'll continue to seek to support our operational colleagues as best we can by seeking to maximise the publicity we can generate to support investigations and operations." Newsweek has also contacted Durham Police for comment.

This story has been updated to include a statement to Newsweek by Cleveland Police.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton attends the 53nd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. Two police forces in England used the meme she created known as the Dolly Parton Challenge, in a bid to catch two suspected criminals. Taylor Hill/Getty Images