John Schneider has weighed in on the decision by TV Land to pull reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard from its lineup in the aftermath of the horrific Charleston mass shooting on June 17.
The actor and singer played Bo Duke on the hit CBS television series from 1979 to 1985. On the show, Bo Duke and his cousin Luke (Tom Wopat) famously tooled around the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia, in a 1969 Dodge Charger called the General Lee with a Confederate flag on the roof, a symbol which is likely the reason why it was yanked from rotation, although the nostalgia network has yet to give a reason.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Schneider suggested that TV Land overreacted to the ongoing Confederate flag controversy.
“The Dukes of Hazzard was and is no more a show seated in racism than Breaking Bad was a show seated in reality… I am saddened that one angry and misguided individual can cause one of the most beloved television shows in the history of the medium to suddenly be seen in this light. Are people who grew up watching the show now suddenly racists? Will they have to go through a detox and a 12-step program to kick their Dukes habit? ‘Hi… My name is John. I’m a Dukesoholic.’
In a prior interview with THR, the actor asserted that political correctness similarly prompted Warner Brothers to slam the brakes on licensing models of the General Lee with the Confederate flag on the roof.
“Throwing this particular baby out with the bathwater seems reactionary and overly PC to me. If the flag was a symbol of racism, then Bo and Luke and Daisy and Uncle Jesse were a pack of wild racists, and that could not be further from the truth.”
Schneider insisted that the show depicts old-fashioned values “such as honesty, courage, chivalry, rebelliousness and the like. Those who seek to malign the show because the famous car it featured had a Confederate flag painted on the roof are missing the point.”
On social media today, John Schneider sent out a tweet with an image of the suspected Charleston shooter wearing a Gold’s Gym shirt while burning an American flag, non-seriously suggesting that by the same standard applied to The Dukes of Hazzard, the gym’s logo could be a symbol of racism too.
“I’m kidding, of course, but has it really come to this? Come on, TV Land, can’t we all just watch TV?”
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment]