NASCAR has reportedly pulled the plug on a cameo appearance by one of the world’s most famous cars. PGA golfer Bubba Watson, who owns one of several General Lee cars used in the 1980s TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, was scheduled to take it for a spin at a Phoenix race event on March 4.
The orange Dodge Charger, famous for its bolted doors emblazoned with the number 01, has drawn criticism over the years for the Confederate Flag that covers its roof. The flag has long been the center of debate among those who find it racially offensive and those who consider it merely a symbol of southern pride.
“The image of the Confederate flag is not something that should play an official role in our sport as we continue to reach out to new fans and make NASCAR more inclusive,” said NASCAR spokesman David Higdon in a statement printed by the Associated Press. Watson addressed the issue on Twitter where he can be seen in a photo with the famous car. “The track ask me to drive it,” Tweeted Watson. “I bought [the] car because of the Dukes Of Hazzard show, I don’t stand for the flag.”
In 2007, Just My Show raised the issue with Dukes of Hazzard star Tom Wopat (seen in photo), who said that at the time of filming, the Confederate Flag wasn’t nearly as politically incorrect as it is today. “Obviously, there’s problems with the Confederate flag,” Wopat told Just My Show. “You know, that’s inherent.” But the actor also believes that the show maintained a strong fan base in the black community. “I think you’ll find a huge huge majority of them did not…I mean didn’t really take that as a personal affront,” he said. “I think we were a huge hit among the black populace…and I don’t know that I can back that up, but I’d be willing to bet.”
So what’s your take? Did NASCAR make the right call or cave in to political correctness? Share your opinion our poll.