Former Dukes Of Hazzard star John Schneider has urged TV bosses in America to rethink their decision to pull re-runs of the hit show because the iconic car his character drove in the series features a prominent Confederate flag on its roof.
TV Land network executives recently opted to yank the ’80s show’s repeats following the ongoing controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, which was used as a symbol of racism and hatred by Dylann Roof, the gunman who shot and killed nine churchgoers after opening fire on a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina last month.
Merchandise featuring images of the flag has been pulled from stores amid demands the US banner be banished, because of what it represents to some people.
Now Schneider’s show has fallen victim to the controversy because the orange Dodge Chargers that were used as his General Lee car all featured the image.
And Schneider is far from happy.
In a video message posted to YouTube, the actor said, “Do I think taking Dukes off TV is silly? Yes, of course. Do I think it’s an error? Yes. Because Dukes of Hazzard was one of the most beloved shows ever. And now it’s being cast in a terrible light that it does not deserve.”
He added, “The thing that you need to understand is that people have lost their lives (fighting for Confederate army in the American Civil War).
“This is not about a television show, it’s not about a flag, it’s not about white or black or yellow or blue or green or gold; it’s about the fact that people have lost their lives and that is what we should be thinking about.”
The actor went on to make the point that Roof was wearing a Gold’s Gym T-shirt in one picture that shows him burning the American Stars and Stripes flag – but no one is proposing people boycott the popular fitness chain.
He tweeted, “I am grossly offended by flag burning. But… is the Gold’s Gym logo to be considered a symbol of racism as well now?”
He later told The Hollywood Reporter the Gold’s Gym tweet was intended as a joke, but added, “Come on, TV Land, can’t we all just watch TV?”