Yahoo reports it looks like those good ol’ Duke boys are going to be in need of a new home. Since 2018, all seven seasons of CBS’s quintessentially ’80s series The Dukes of Hazzard have been available to stream on Amazon, first as part of the Prime Video library and currently via IMDb TV, the streaming arm of the much visited website.
But a recent report from Vulture suggests that moonshine-running brothers Bo and Luke (played by John Schneider and Tom Wopat) and their cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach) might be facing an eviction notice.
The series is the latest pop culture artifact to face renewed scrutiny in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests inspired by the death of George Floyd, which in turn have inspired Americans to confront the legacy of racial injustice and exclusion in popular entertainment as well as policing.
The past few weeks have already seen the cancellation of TV shows like Cops and Live PD and the temporary removal of Gone With the Wind from HBO Max, as well as the discontinuation of famous brands like Aunt Jemima.
If The Dukes of Hazzard joins them in exile, it’s because the show wears its offending symbol on its sleeve — or, more accurately, on the roof of Bo and Luke’s signature car: a bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger with a Civil War namesake — Gen. Robert E. Lee — and a Confederate flag emblazoned up top.
That flag has landed the General Lee in hot water before. Five years ago, the show was benched by its previous home, TV Land, in the wake of the Charleston church shooting by white supremacist Dylann Roof. At that point, Warner Bros. — which produced the original series, as well as its various spinoffs and follow-ups, including the 2005 big-screen version — ceased licensing the Dukes’ ride for toys and other merchandise. S
o the news that The Dukes of Hazzard might lose another venue due to its prominent placement of the Confederate flag strikes series co-star Ben Jones as a familiar tune. “That’s no surprise,” Jones tells Yahoo Entertainment from his home in Virginia. “And it’s almost meaningless. No one knew it was on Amazon Prime unless they ran across it when they were searching around there. I think it would be a shame, but they all have caved over different points in time.”
Jones’s history with the Dukes predates the show; one of his earliest acting gigs for the North Carolina native came in the 1975 film Moonrunners, which was retooled four years later into The Dukes of Hazzard. He was the first actor to audition for the series, and spent seven years playing Hazzard County’s resident mechanic, Cooter Davenport, who helped Bo and Luke in their weekly attempts to foil the plans of property baron Boss Hogg (Sorrell Brooke) and stay one step ahead of bumbling lawman Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best). While Jones pursued other careers after Dukes went off the air in 1985 — including a stint in Congress as a Democratic representative from Georgia — he describes himself as a “steward” of its legacy, a legacy that he increasingly views as being under attack.
Read more here.