If you predicted the Dukes of Hazzard would eventually fall victim to the Confederate flag backlash, congratulations — It turns out you were right! Apparently, TV Land has decided to drop the Dukes family in response to the ongoing controversy.
The popular ’70s show and legendary vehicle weren’t exactly done any favors by actor Ben Jones. As reported by the Inquisitr, the Dukes of Hazzard cast member who played Cooter on the show went on record about the Confederate flag last week.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) July 1, 2015
As fans of Dukes of Hazzard know, the REAL star of the show was “The General Lee”. The 1969 charger was painted a reddish-orange color, but its most distinguishing physical feature is the Confederate flag painted on the roof of the car. The car and Confederate flag symbols related to the Dukes of Hazzard were already yanked by Warner Bros. TV Land took it a step further and yanked the Dukes of Hazzard reruns altogether.
The network has yet to offer a statement or explanation as to why the Dukes of Hazzard was pulled from the schedule. However, given the ongoing backlash over the Confederate flag and its association with racism, it’s pretty obvious.
Matters were not helped when a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan announced they intended to rally in front of the Columbia, South Carolina statehouse in support of the Confederate flag. As the KKK is a blatant symbol of hate and racism, their association with the pro-Confederate flag movement is not helpful.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) June 30, 2015
Some argue that the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride and heritage. However, the flag has been closely associated with racism and hate groups for many years, increasingly so in recent decades. The anti-Confederate flag movement exploded following the murder of nine African-Americans in Charleston, S.C. When the state officials refused to lower the flag out of respect, it only served to reignite negative opinions of the Southern symbol.
Unfortunately for fans of Dukes of Hazzard, that means that the “good ole’ boys” and their car were caught in the crossfire.
The dropping of a fictional show like the Dukes of Hazzard may suggest the backlash has gone too far. There’s nothing particularly racist about the Dukes family. Also, the move to name the car after General Robert E. Lee puts the car’s flag in a historical context rather than a bigoted one.
Should TV Land have dropped the Dukes of Hazzard? Is the Confederate flag debate going too far when fiction is involved? Share your thoughts below!
[Image Credit: CBS / Warner Brothers Television]