The world’s focus seems to be shifting from an ongoing global pandemic to the idea of social and racial equality, and that means that no form of media that people may take issue with is safe. Gone with the Wind might be the highest-grossing movie in history when adjusted for inflation, a landmark in Hollywood cinema and the winner of ten Academy Awards that was released just months after World War II ended, but it was still pulled from HBO Max.
People reacted to this by purchasing copies in huge numbers to send it straight to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list, and with numerous movies and TV shows also being quietly removed from various streaming services, the conversation is now turning to the fine margins between trying to atone for the sins of the past and rewriting history in the hope that if you can’t see something anymore, people will stop talking about it.
It appears as though The Dukes of Hazzard could be next on the list, with Amazon now reportedly under pressure to drop the series from streaming. Originally running for 147 episodes and spawning a short-lived spinoff, an animated show, several video games, a critically-panned movie starring Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott and a straight-to-video prequel, the decision is said to be based on the recurring use of Confederate iconography that doesn’t exactly go down well in today’s political climate.
Rights holders Warner Bros. have already been slowly phasing The Dukes of Hazzard out of circulation in recent years anyway, with the show being pulled from syndication and the studio refusing to license the duo’s signature car the General Lee to toy manufacturers, and with the original run ending 35 years ago, it seems like a symbolic gesture more than anything else. But it’s one that more and more dated projects will be finding themselves subjected to as the industry pushes for widespread change.