For the many political and social activists inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, erasing history is a perfectly acceptable remedy to the many systems of oppression in the institutions of America.
First and foremost, movies and television series that don’t fit a very specific social justice viewpoint must be expunged.
“Gone with the Wind” has been removed from HBO’s streaming service. The shows “Cops” and “Live PD” have both been canceled by their respective networks. Now, Amazon may soon follow suit by removing the beloved ’80s action-comedy series “The Dukes of Hazzard” from its streaming service.
Amazon is currently mulling over what to do with the series, which currently resides on its IMDb TV free streaming service.
According to Variety, the controversy revolves around the title characters’ muscle car, the General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag symbol emblazoned on the roof.
Since the show’s 1979 debut, “The Dukes of Hazzard” has faced criticism on numerous occasions for its use of the flag.
When the series was adapted for the big screen in 2005, similar complaints were made after it was revealed that the General Lee would be included in the film, unchanged from its original iteration.
Jay Chandrasekhar, director and co-writer of the film, explained the decision to include the flag in an interview with The Denver Post.
“It’s a complicated symbol,” Chandrasekhar said. “I know how some people feel about it, but there were certain things I wasn’t gonna change.”
“I wasn’t gonna change Daisy’s shorts and Boss Hogg’s suits, and I certainly wasn’t gonna touch the car. I felt the flag had to be on the roof. It would have been even more controversial to take the flag off the car.”
One of the film’s stars, Johnny Knoxville (who plays Luke Duke), also chimed in with a defense of the characters themselves.
“The thing is, Luke and Bo aren’t racists,” Knoxville said. “That would be ridiculous. They had it on there as a sign of rebellion.”
Later in 2015, after a photo of Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of the Charleston church shootings, posing in front of a car with Confederate plates was uncovered, “The Dukes of Hazzards'” use of the symbol again became the target of harsh criticism.
Shortly following the controversy brought about by the Charleston church shootings, former Democratic Rep. Ben Jones of Georgia, who was known for his role as “Cooter” on the show, defended the series’ decision to display the confederate flag.
“I know the world’s not like that, but you must understand that that flag has been seen and is now seen also in positive contexts,” Jones said at the time, according to Variety.
“It’s been used by racists, by horrible people such as this man who killed those people in Charleston. A terrible thing. I’m sure he’s also used the American flag.”
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