Who would have thought that there would be this much Dukes Of Hazzard news in 2015? In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, John Schneider, who played Bo Duke on the show for seven years—except for those 19 episodes featuring Coy and Vance Duke—shared his opinion on TV Land pulling Dukes reruns in response to the recent controversy over the Confederate flag. Schneider, who can currently be seen reprising his Dukes role in a Confederate flag-free Auto Trader commercial, says:
I am saddened that one angry and misguided individual can cause one of the most beloved television shows in the history of the medium to suddenly be seen in this light. Are people who grew up watching the show now suddenly racists? Will they have to go through a detox and a 12-step program to kick their Dukes habit? ‘Hi… My name is John. I’m a Dukesoholic.’
Earlier Wednesday, the actor tweeted a photo of Charleston terrorist Dylan Roof burning a U.S. flag while clad in a Gold’s Gym shirt, lest we forget that the ridiculous act of pulling The Dukes Of Hazzard off the air was perpetuated by nine people being murdered. “I am grossly offended by the flag burning. But…is the Gold’s Gym logo to be considered a symbol of racism as well now?,” Schneider asked. (To be fair, the Ku Klux Klan never waved the Gold’s Gym banner while instigating a lynching.)
Schneider later said that he was kidding in the tweet, but tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Throwing this particular baby out with the bathwater seems reactionary and overly PC to me. If the flag was a symbol of racism, then Bo and Luke and Daisy and Uncle Jesse were a pack of wild racists, and that could not be further from the truth.” Schneider has a point there—Bo and Luke never displayed racist tendencies on the show. They were good ol’ boys, but were also generally chivalrous, courageous, and helped out the less fortunate. They even befriended an illegal (space) alien once. However, when people see that flag, it’s hard not to think of racism; Bo and Luke may not have been bigots, but plenty of people who have waved that banner are.
Schneider adds that The Dukes Of Hazzard was no more seated in racism than Breaking Bad was seated in reality. Overall, it’s a measured, intelligent response. And then there’s “Cooter.”