The stars and creator of “Dukes of Hazzard” are weighing in on the confederate flag controversy. The recent countrywide protests sparked debate once again about the usage of the flag in the show.
The series, which aired from 1979 to 1985, starred John Schneider and Tom Wopat. The two portrayed cousins Bo and Luke, respectively. Even though the show hasn’t been on TV for years, some viewers still take issue with the fiery orange ’69 Dodge Charger that the boys ride, the General Lee. For those unfamiliar with the series, General Lee features a confederate flag painted on top of the vehicle.
According to John Schneider, the controversy is being blown out of proportion. “I have never had an African American come up to me and have any problem with it whatsoever,” Schneider told The Hollywood Reporter. He continued by adding “the whole politically correct generation has gotten way out of hand.”
Wopat explained that the current racial issues in the country warrant discussion. However, he says the General Lee doesn’t represent a symbol of hate. “The situation in the country has obviously changed in the last 40 years. I feel fortunate to be living in a time when we can address some of the injustices of the past,” he says. “But the car is innocent.”
For show creator Gy Waldron, the flag represents a way of life. “I had relatives fight on both sides of the Civil War and we honored both the American and Confederate flags,” Waldron said. “No one even connected the Confederate flag with slavery. It was simply a part of our Southern culture.”
Waldron continued by saying, he “wholeheartedly support the Black Lives Matter movement and its quest to address racism around the world.”
In 2015, TV Land, the only network airing the “Dukes of Hazzard” re-runs at the time, pulled the show. The show never returned to broadcast thereafter.
[H/T The Hollywood Reporter]