NASCAR banning the Confederate flag from their events has been one of many high-profile decisions in the U.S. amid protests for Black Lives Matters and against police brutality. Protesters and government bodies have removed numerous statues and Confederate monuments, while music groups have changed their names and several movies have seen different platforms remove them over racial content.
The Dukes of Hazzard may be the next casualty of these sweeping changes, with Amazon re-examining their streaming home for the series on IMDb TV. It is far from the first time the show has faced backlash over its use of the Confederate flag and the name of its iconic race car, the General Lee. Still, this could be the final straw for the classic series.
According to Vulture, the show has been tagged by Amazon executives for review and will have its fate decided once the overall content guidelines on Amazon are refreshed. This process could lead to the show's exit from the IMDb TV platform and possibly any future home for the fan-favorite series.
This news comes on the heels of HBO Max decided to temporarily remove Gone With the Wind from their service to re-evaluate the film and give some context. Many were upset that the film was removed while others praised the decision. In the end, the move by HBO Max was motivated more by educating viewers over some form of censorship.
Dukes of Hazzard already faced a potential ban in the wake of the Charleston Church Massacre in 2015, with Warner Bros. TV announcing they would stop all licensing of the show's car to toymakers and other merchandisers. The series was also dropped by TV Land and other networks airing reruns, only making a return to streaming platforms in 2018. The show was added by Amazon at the time, according to Vulture, moving to IMDb TV the following year once the show left the Prime platform.
While there is plenty of controversy over imagery in Dukes of Hazzard, the show itself stays far from all of it. The General Lee car is far more beloved than the man it is named after. This is an aspect that Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider has talked about for years, even including it in the plot of his 2019 Christmas film Christmas Cars. He discussed the inspiration for the film back in 2015, defending the show against racism accusations.
"Throwing this particular baby out with the bath water seems reactionary and overly PC to me," Schneider said. "Some people are narrow-minded extremists that in no way represent a majority. The man who committed this horrific act clearly fits into that category. Those who watched the Dukes would likely agree that the first person to offer forgiveness, as the members of the church and family did, would be Uncle Jesse. Very sad. Labeling anyone who has the flag a 'racist' seems unfair to those who are clearly 'never meanin' no harm.'"