Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, a biopic starring Austin Butler, has created a resurgence of criticism of the late icon — from his grooming of Priscilla to his affair with Anne Margret to his appropriation of Black music. But there’s one thing people can’t seem to get over: the actor’s continual use of a Southern accent, long after the movie wrapped.
Why this change of cadence? That’s one of the many mysteries of the internet that hosts Ej Dickson and Brittany Spanos discuss on this week’s episode of Don’t Let This Flop, Rolling Stone‘s podcast about internet culture. The Disney Channel alum and Anaheim, California native has a fairly extensive body of work dating back almost two decades that shows exactly what he sounds like, and this new change is quite confusing for fans who have watched his growth for years. People on TikTok immediately began to call him out: “Why is this man still talking in his Elvis accent?” one asked.
The difference in his voice isn’t huge — noticeable, for sure, but as Spanos points out, “It’s not like he’s taken on a Madonna British accent.” And yet, he’s tried to play it off, saying it’s just been a while since people heard him. “You don’t become southern when you hit puberty,” Spanos says about the 30-year-old actor with a laugh. “That’s just not how it works.”
What’s really going on with Butler? On this week’s episode of DLTF, Spanos and Dickson dive into Austin Butler’s accent, the many cancellations of the real Elvis Presley, and into a conspiracy theory which claims that like birds, pandas aren’t, in fact, real.