Thursday, July 02, 2015

Confederate flag flap does what Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane couldn't: stop the 'Dukes of Hazzard'

Warner Bros. has ended the long run of "The Dukes of Hazzard" on TV Land, apparently because the souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger that is the best symbol of the show is named the General Lee and has a Confederate battle flag on its roof. The move is drawing much criticism, even from normally liberal quarters.

Warner Bros. earlier stopped licensing
this reproduction of the General Lee.
"The decision to remove the flag is right; the decision to strike the TV show seems extreme and wrongheaded but entirely in keeping with our times," Tim Teeman writes for the Daily Beast, comparing the move to an activist's removal of the flag from the South Carolina state Capitol grounds. "TV Land banning The Dukes of Hazzard is a banal gesture of how little we are prepared to confront the horror of Charleston, the continuing gritty day-to-day horror of all kinds of hatred aimed at all kinds of minorities."

Former U.S. Rep. Ben Jones, a Democrat who played Cooter Davenport on the show, is the principal objector. "That flag on top of the General Lee made a statement that the values of the rural south were the values of courage and family and good times," he wrote on Facebook. The co-star of the show, John Schneider, told The Hollywood Reporter, "I take exception to those who say that the flag on the General Lee should always be considered a symbol of racism. Is the flag used as such in other applications? Yes, but certainly not on the Dukes."

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