This isn’t a post about the Confederate Flag issue. Be that as it may, in all the uproar Viacom, based in New York (no surprise there), has pulled The Dukes of Hazzards from the TV Land lineup. That’s because the General Lee, the car that logged more flight time than some planes, has a Confederate flag on top. Horrors!
In the interest of full disclosure, I never cared for The Dukes of Hazzard. The plot-lines were predictable, and frankly I thought it was a demeaning portrayal of Southerners. I’d also be a liar if I said that I never watched it. We had a game of “Where’s Hazzard?” where we tried to ID where the town was supposed to be by the road sign near the city square, and Catherine Bach was easy on the eyes. Then we saw the sign was stuck in a movable barrel, and the show was filmed in California by then, anyway, so that ended that. Can’t remember when I stopped watching the show, but it was a long time before it was canceled.
Just as I don’t watch much TV now. Reruns tend to be butchered to make room for commercials, which ruins the fun when you watch a show you used to enjoy, and some of the new stuff doesn’t appeal to the family, so usually I’m reading or pecking away at the computer instead of glued to whatever is on. I didn’t even know The Dukes of Hazzard was on TV Land. Wouldn’t have watched it if I had.
Ah, but the same can’t be said for the fans, who did like the show and are likely ticked off that Viacom has pulled it because of the flag painted on the top of the car. Because what Viacom and other miss is that this will be seen as its own form of bigotry: a bigotry against Southerners. And I’m not sure that it’s not.
In any event, The Dukes of Hazzard was once in the Nielsen rating’s top ten, and that was before cable, satellite TV, and the Internet had cut into the number of network viewers. A quick estimate based on 1982 ratings means it could be as high as 29 million. That a lot of upset fans. Will Viacom figure that out?
Don’t know, but it should be fun to watch. Pass the popcorn.