John Schneider is blasting TV Land for its decision to erase from its schedule — due its depiction of the Confederate flag — reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard, the wholesome show that made the actor a teen idol in the 1980s.
“The Dukes of Hazzard was and is no more a show seated in racism than Breaking Bad was a show seated in reality,” Schneider told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
TV Land confirmed Wednesday that it pulled the show in the aftermath of the June 17 shooting in Charleston, S.C., perpetrated by Dylann Roof, who was a fan of the Confederacy, known in the 19th century for its defense of slavery.
Schneider says his residuals from the show “have never been much to write home about,” but he would like the show to persist because of the old-fashioned values it promotes, such as honesty, courage, chivalry, rebelliousness and the like. Those who seek to malign the show because the famous car it featured had a Confederate flag painted on the roof are missing the point, he 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,” Schneider said Wednesday. “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, Schneider tweeted a photo of Roof burning a U.S. flag while wearing a Gold’s Gym shirt. “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 wrote.
“I’m kidding, of course, but has it really come to this?” he said in an interview with THR. “Come on, TV Land, can’t we all just watch TV?”
A week ago, Warner Bros. said it would no longer license models of the Dukes of Hazzard car, known as the General Lee, unless the licensees stripped the Confederate flag from the car’s roof, and Schneider similarly weighed in on that decision.
“Throwing this particular baby out with the bathwater seems reactionary and overly PC to me,” Schneider told THR last week. “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 starred in Dukes of Hazzard from 1979 to 1985. He recently founded John Schneider Studios in Louisiana where he is shooting Like Son, a feature film he wrote and executive produced and in which he plays a small role. See the trailer here.
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