Warner Bros. to Stop Selling Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise over Confederate Flag Controversy
Congressman Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the show, is not a fan of the company's decision
As South Carolina dithers over the removal of the Confederate flag from government buildings, at least one other state-size entity has made an actual decision regarding the placement of a symbol that to a massive segment of the population suggests social inequality and this country’s greatest collective sin.
Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that it would be halting production of toys and replicas of the General Lee, the Dodge Charger that was at least as essential to the success of The Dukes of Hazzard as salaciously short cut-off jeans and two generically handsome white men with monosyllabic names. The cause? The fact that the car is plastered with the Confederate flag, which has become a divisive talking point following the racially motivated murder of nine black people in a historic church in Charleston.
Amazon, Sears, eBay and Walmart have all elected to ban sales of the Confederate flag and its image this week, though as recently as 2012, Warner Bros. indicated it would not change the car’s design.
At the time, Ben Jones, a man who played a character named Cooter and was still elected to two terms as a congressman in Georgia, made the following statement: “Some unnamed genius at the company feels that the flag is ‘offensive to some’ and therefore it has no business on a classic TV comedy about a bunch of good ol’ boys and girls in the Southern mountains.”
“This is a new level of ‘P.C.’ idiocy,” Jones said. He doubled down on his statements in an exchange with CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield on Tuesday, saying the flag’s placement on the General Lee was in a “very positive context in a place where there was no racism.”