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Brian Coltrane

Warner Bros Bans Flag on General Lee diecasts

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As posted on our Facebook page. We really hope this one ain't true, but we've had too many reports to ignore it:

Warner Bros forbids flag on General Lee diecast cars effective Jan 1, 2013! This info has been reported by the diecast collector community, at sites like hobbytalk.com and Supercar Collectibles.

Mopar Muscle Magazine shared the Supercar Collectibles report on their blog on July 19. We've been hoping that this was only a vile rumor, but the reports can't be ignored.

We are attempting to get confirmation from Warner Bros.

All we know so far is what we're picking up from the diecast crowd.

Hobby Talk: http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=371387

Mopar blog: http://blogs.moparmusclemagazine.com/6783994/miscellaneous/dukes-of-hazzard-general-lee/

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I read this on your Facebook page. I am in utter disbelief that WB would consider this. I guess ths political pressure got to them even though I am fairly certain they will end up losing a lot merchandising money and respect. We can go on and on about how it is wrong and all but it is their(WB) decision and they will have to live with the consequences.

Almost on the same topic, MGM is releasing the remake of the movie "Red Dawn" at Thanksgiving. The studio had them change the bad guys and digitally alter flags, uniforms and symbols from Chinese to North Koreans in order to ease anti-Chinese sentiment from the U.S. and for the Chinese dollars so the film can be shown there to more people.

Red Dawn review of original cut

This is the type of culture we are manifesting to generations now. We do not want to offend anyone anymore.

I'm gone

Darrell

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Ever read George Orwell's novel 1984?This what all this reminds me of,trying to rewrite history,blot events out like they never were.

Ben Jones says the same thing in a spoken piece about the flag, our Confederate ancestors, and Southern history on his The Ghosts of Dixie CD.

"You can't rewrite history,you can't change the past." (Highly recommend this one btw).

We don't even know if someone complained to WB. Sounds like they may have may this decision because someone in a suit said the flag on one of their products was not good for their "image."

Its not the General Lee without the flag. I would ask whoever made that decision one question. Exactly how is someone being HARMED by the Confederate flag on a model car? HARMED in some definable sense, not just "offended".

They should be informed that this sort of thing is not acceptable in a free society.

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Good example, Darrell. And I agree with you GBH. This seems like a "1984" thing, where media and government compel you to believe something to be other than what it really was.

We've sent inquries to Johnny Lightning and to WB directly regarding the GL diecast issue. What we're looking for at this stage is the truth. Everything we've got so far has been passed from diecast manufactuer sales reps to the diecast collector community, to us. We have no reason to doubt the sources we have, but at the same time, it's only proper to get clarification from the source.

Meanwhile, I'm watching the HobbyTalk forums for any further news. I found this recent post by "Motorhead" interesting. For ease of reading I just copied and pasted the highlights, but you can click here for the complete post:

"Guys, they just won't produce it (the General Lee diecast) anymore. They aren't going to do the regular version of the General Lee and delete the flag, it wouldn't sell."

"The truth of the matter is Warner Bros has changed the policy when writing licenses. Warner Bros. will no longer endorse the license for anything that has the Confederate flag on it. Therefore, if you are a die-cast manufacturer your license will not be approved if your sample has a Confederate Flag on it, (such as the General Lee, Hazzard County Patrol cars, Cooter's tow truck and so on.)"

"If the sample is produced without a flag then it will be issued, but no one is going to do a General Lee with just the 01s and General Lee lettering, it would look silly. When we were doing the Auto World 1/18 Authentics General Lee we saw a clue of this happening because Warner Bros. requested the flag not be seen when it was on a store shelf. A removable, body colored cling was attached to the roof of the car to cover the flag until purchase. I knew when this happened that things would be changing soon."

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I don't even know where to begin on this subject so I guess I won't begin. We're not really supposed to talk about politics here and that's a policy I agree with 100%. I'll save my political views for political websites. I will say that I'm both very furious and very sad at the way political correctness is robbing us of everything our Founding Fathers worked for and tens of thousands of Americans have died for. I fear for America.

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Simple DON"T buy any of them that is missing the flag.Speak with your pocket book.I know there will be a few people who will buy one just because it maybe more collectable down the road but I refuse to buy one. I'm waiting on the day that they will have the nerve enough to try and make me remove the flag from my personal owned General.I can see that coming if this political correctness keeps going like it is.

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There are certain people who think that freedom of speech is okay as long as it doesn't offend anyone but it's not possible to say anything without offending somebody.

Since the very idea of free speech is offensive to some people I wouldn't be surprised if it's taken away someday. In my lifetime there's been a disturbing trend of that happening and the General Lee's flag is just one example of hundreds.

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I'm creeped out by the whole thing. We sent very specific inquiries, to real people at WB Consumer Products division, who approve the licensing. No reply as of yet. (not surprised.) We also sent very specific questions to Johnny Lightning, the die-cast manufacturer, as some of their reps were named as sources as we chased this thing down.

Nobody seems to be in a big rush to answer us.

I know that big companies see The Dukes of Hazzard as a tiny niche of their overall operations, so I don't expect them to give us a real quick answer. But if they dodge this issue altogether and don't give us the courtesy of a reply, I'll be tempted to put the exact email addresses, names, and titles on public display and let them deal with whatever they get. Out of professionalism and couresty we NEVER do that at HNet, but playing nice doesn't always get us real far. (CMT being an example.)

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I was going to rant some more.

I was going to suggest that you write to them and ask what criteria they use to decide which group of people to offend.

I was going to ask them if they believe in free speech.

I was going to ask them if they plan on returning all the profits they made since 1979.

I was going to ask them if they're dumb enough to believe people will buy them.

But I'm not.

I will just take this moment to thank Warner Brothers for making the best show to ever grace a television set.

I'll take this moment to thank them for giving me 33 years of joy.

I'll take this moment to tell them how much I appreciate them.

After all, let's look at the big picture. This isn't really Warner Brothers fault. It's the fault of all Americans who have sat back and watched politically correct forces destroy our freedoms.

It's a sign of the times and I don't think we should blame Warner Brothers too much. If we want to do anything, we should do our best and vote out any politician who is against the Constitution.

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Ok first things first. I'm 17, so I've always lived in a world with some form of PC.

Secondly, General Lee owners have been using the flag on their own vehicles for 30 years, so presumably WB don't own the rights on the confederate flag. That means that, in theory, somebody could buy a thousand new General Lees without the flag on top, print a thousand mini confederate flag stickers, and sell the General Lees on. And WB or any of the toy makers wouldn't be able to do anything about it because technically it's already bought and paid for.

Just my two cents on the matter.

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Ok first things first. I'm 17, so I've always lived in a world with some form of PC.

Secondly, General Lee owners have been using the flag on their own vehicles for 30 years, so presumably WB don't own the rights on the confederate flag. That means that, in theory, somebody could buy a thousand new General Lees without the flag on top, print a thousand mini confederate flag stickers, and sell the General Lees on. And WB or any of the toy makers wouldn't be able to do anything about it because technically it's already bought and paid for.

Just my two cents on the matter.

Yes, the flag can be added afterwards with a sticker, but it's doubtful any die-cast manufacturers are going to produce a flagless General Lee at all. It's not likely to be a big seller. People who weren't already into the Dukes of Hazzard or the General Lee, aren't going to suddenly rush out to get a version without the flag. Conversely, longtime fans sure as bleep aren't going to rush out to buy one without the flag either.

My problem with this whole thing is that it's selective censorship and hypocrisy at the highest level. A corporation will cry freedom of speech all day long when it comes to producing violence-ridden movies and expletive-laden music...but suddenly, the rebel flag, my gosh we don't want any part of that. Who ya kiddin'?

On one hand public morality isn't the responsibility of a corporation, but on the other...well, let's not take the chance on offending anybody with the design on this toy car.

Anyway. Add to all this the fact that CMT appears to be cutting off the Dukes again. They've removed any reference to the Dukes from ther current TV show page.

Coincidence? Or does WB's license ban on the rebel flag extend to the very airing of the show?

I'm going to buy another entire set of the Dukes DVD's the first chance I get, just in case they stop production of those too. At the minimum they'd have to change the cover art on most, if not all, the boxes, because it looks like that flag is showing...

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Curt Hart just shared a link over on the Facebook page to Ben Jones's opinion on the matter:

DUKES OF HAZZARD’S “COOTER†BLASTS “P.C. IDIOCY†AT WARNER BROS. TV

It includes the email address of Warner's licensing department so you can give them your opinion.

Has it not occurred to Warner Bros that removing the flag WILL offend a large number of fans? It seems odd to me that we now live in a world where the POSSIBILITY of offending a small number of people outweighs ACTUALLY offending a much bigger number. I guess I'll have to stop buying any DVDs, CDs and merchandise produced or licensed by WB in case they accidentally offend me!

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I've just got two more things to say while they're still on my mind.

Firstly about political correctness gone mad, and secondly about an old fashion form of political correctness, namely the catholic church.

Firstly, if the confederate flag is to disappear from future General Lee's, how long is it before dressing up as a ghost for halloween is banned because someone is offended because a child in a bed sheet is too similar to the Ku Klux Klan? If they ban the flag from an icon of a family show, how long is it before the innocent image of a child dressed up as a ghost becomes banned, or frowned upon?

Secondly, I'm sure most of y'all watched part of the Olympics. Did anyone else see the Closing Ceremony? Or more specifically the closing song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"?

That song was originally released in conjunction with British comedy group Monty Python's Life of Brian movie in 1979. For anyone that isn't familiar with the movie, the movie is about the life of a man back in Jesus's time, who was born in the adjacent stable, and is constantly being mistaken as the messiah. He is eventually crucified, and in the final scene all the people being crucified break into "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

The catholic church found this offensive, and as a result the movie was either rated 18, or banned altogether from most European countries.

I happened to be watching the closing ceremony with my grandparents, and they were slightly angry that "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was being sung, on the bases that it was glamorizing Jesus's death.

Obviously people's views on the movie have changed in the past 30 years,

and I think it shows how far we've progressed, or atleast how far the UK has progressed, since the movies initial release and how "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" is now able to be played at a worldwide event.

The reason I've mentioned these two examples in the same post is this. If an offensive song released in the 70's is able to be played freely now, is their a possibility that the confederate flag could fly freely on the General Lee's roof again?

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I always thought that 'Life of Brian' was rated 18 because it was about the life of a HazzardNet moderator ;).

I suppose I should add "Down with this sort of thing" and "Careful now".

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I'll say that all of this disappoints me. I say what Ben Jones wrote and I actually emailed the email he put. After I sent it, I got an email that said that I won't get a response for a couple of weeks because They've gotten a big volume of responses. I had to laugh when I saw it since I could just think that it was everyone telling them that they don't like the idea of not having the flag on the General Lees.

Below is the email I sent them. I think that this explains how everyone feels.

"So I've heard that your going to take off the confederate flag on the General Lees because it effends some people. Well, I'm not one of them. Because I've watched Dukes of Hazzard, when ever I see the flag, I think of the show. I don't think of what happened many years ago. That was history and this is now. There are more people in the world that think of the Dukes when they see the flag. That is also what makes the General Lee special and everyone knows its him when they see that. If you take it off, you'll be hurting more people than helping. You probably won't sell anymore cars. You'll end up losing money and probably regret your decision. I think that if you do do this, you'll lose a lot of trust in people.

It's all up to you on what you do, but think of all the fans out in the world that will be disappointed and think of all the people that will not be big fans of you anymore. That includes me."

I'm proud of what I sent. I hope that they'll reconsider all of this after seeing what we all had to say about it.

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After seeing what's been going on in the world I don't think complaining to Warner Brothers is going to help. I'm not suggesting we compliment them (like I did in post #10 of this thread) but I am suggesting that we not get our hopes up because the majority no longer rules in the world.

Take Christmas for example. You could have 1000 kids that are students in a school district and even if every single one of them celebrated Christmas they wouldn't be permitted to have a Christmas party because Christmas parties are no longer politically correct. For all I know a teacher could be fired if he or she had a Christmas party. It doesn't matter that a 1000 kids in one school love Christmas, it matters that one parent of a single kid 2,000 miles away doesn't like it.

Your post suggesting that Warner Brothers might go to the extreme of stopping the production of Dukes DVDs scared me Brian. It made me wonder if the government will try to make anything related to the Dukes of Hazzard illegal because they'll (incorrectly of course....but politically correctly) label the show "hate speech" because of the flag. It sounds ridiculous but that's the direction we're heading. I'm starting to not recognize America.

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Good comments, ya'll. ( Hoss, you crack me up. Fortunately my life ain't as bad as Monty Python's Brian. ) It seems true that while the UK has become more socially progressive, here in the States we've been scrambling to make everything so equal and inoffensive, that individual expression has taken a big backwards step.

Roger's example of the holidays being a case in point. While Christmas is still a Federal holiday, schools call it "winter break" or plain ol' "spring break" because you can't say Christmas and Easter. Well, if those observations offend anybody so much that they insist on going to work or school instead, fine. And it goes on and on...everything made so generic and inoffensive that nothing remains special to anybody. That's not promoting diversity, that's whitewashing.

Anyhow! Thanks to Ben Jones, Warner Bros now has to acknowledge the issue. They can dodge it, but now that Ben has taken it to "TODAY" and there's a ripple in national media, WB will not be blind to the public reaction by the majority. TODAY has a poll question at the bottom of their article and it's overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the flag on the General.

Please visit, read and vote!

http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2012/08/30/13568283-report-confederate-flag-may-be-removed-from-dukes-of-hazzard-general-lee-toys?lite

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Latest word is that WB has backed down, and said there are no plans for removing the flag. Don't tell that the reaction from folks like us didn't change their minds.

"You got to speak out, speak out against the madness"-Stephen Stills.

And enough people did.

What a nice birthday present for Ben Jones.

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