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"Dukes of Hazzard was a unifying force. Mom, grandma, everyone wanted to watch it together. But who benefits from division?" Schneider said. "The Dukes of Hazzard has been shot down, I believe unfairly. We haven’t missed a generation yet, but we may miss this next one."
When asked about the idea of digitally altering old episodes to remove the Confederate flag image, Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the show, said it's unrealistic.
"That wouldn’t please anybody," said Jones, 78. "Because after 40 years seen all over the world — in thousands of jigsaw puzzles, on model cars and lunch boxes — the General Lee, by not having the flag there, would just draw attention to itself. That would be like taking the 'S' off of Superman's chest."
According to THR, Dukes of Hazzard doesn't air on broadcast television but is available to stream on Amazon. Back in 2015, TV Land dropped the show from its schedule amid a Confederate flag controversy at the time, after previously airing reruns twice a day.
Gy Waldron, who created the series, told THR that he "wholeheartedly" supports the Black Lives Matter movement, but that the inclusion of the Confederate flag image was never meant to be racist.
"I had relatives fight on both sides of the Civil War and we honored both the American and Confederate flags," said Waldron, 87, who grew up in Lenoxburg, Kentucky. "No one even connected the Confederate flag with slavery. It was simply a part of our Southern culture."
However, as people across the country protest police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death, there has been a renewed effort to remove the racially offensive symbol. NASCAR banned the display of Confederate flags at all events and properties, and Mississippi is removing the Confederate cross from its state flag.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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