Three cast members of The Dukes of Hazzard shared a stage at the recent Dallas Comic Con in Irving, and they gleefully talked of chemistry, fellowship and fun.
When it came time for the question-and-answer part, the first question posed concerned the Confederate flag controversy.
Said moderator Mark Walters: "I knew that wouldn't take long."
The Confederate flag was painted on the top of the General Lee car, the iconic, orange 1969 Dodge Charger driven by Bo Duke (John Schneider) and Luke Duke (Tom Wopat). In the aftermath of racially-motivated shootings at a Charleston, S.C., last year, TV Land pulled The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985) from its lineup and Warner Bros. announced that it would no longer sell merchandise that featured the Confederate flag.
But the cast didn't evade the question like they were being chased by Sheriff Coltrane. They embraced the moment.
Wopat: "I look at it like it's collateral damage. That guy out there had nothing to do with us. Unfortunately, the flag thing became a big cause célèbre for a lot of people. And I understand both sides of the question about the flag. A lot of people from the South look at that part of their history as something they were proud of, that they actually stood for something themselves. It wasn't really about slavery, a lot of it, I guess. The other side, the people that hate that flag. I understand that, too. Because it ruined a lot of people's lives. But it had nothing to do with The Dukes of Hazzard. Unfortunately, that guy in his insanity took viewing pleasure away from millions of people. It's unfortunate. But this, too, shall pass."
Schneider: "Who did Wonder Woman call upon? Almighty, ISIS. Why is Wonder Woman not banned from the airwaves? As silly as that sounds, to me, it's the same thing -- because of the intent. If the flag on top of the General Lee meant anything whatsoever to do with hate, it certainly had nothing to do with The Dukes of Hazzard. And it certainly had nothing to do with ... Uncle Jessie. And if there was a tiny bit of hate, he would not only have taken it off, he would beat us with a stick."
Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke): "Hollywood has been using that flag as a scapegoat for a long, long time. And, if anything, we need to turn that around.
Check out the full 48-minute Q&A: