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Original Cooter boycotts the new ‘Hazzard’

Breaker! Breaker! Ben Jones says movie trashes the TV version
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former star of the “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV show is urging fans to skip the forthcoming movie version, calling it “a sleazy insult.”

Ben Jones, a former Georgia congressman who played the wisecracking mechanic Cooter on the popular series from 1979 to 1985, said profanity and sexual content in the film make a mockery of the family friendly show.

“Basically, they trashed our show,” said Jones, who read a script of the Warner Bros. movie, scheduled for release next month. “It’s one thing to do whatever movie they want to do, but to take a classic family show and do that is like taking ‘I Love Lucy’ and making her a crackhead or something.”

On Wednesday, Jones wrote an open letter to fans on his Web site, urging them to stay away from the movie, which stars Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson.

“From all I have seen and heard, the ‘Dukes’ movie is a sleazy insult to all of us who have cared about the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ for so long,” Jones wrote. “Unless they clean it up before the August fifth release date I would strongly recommend that true blue Dukes fans hold their noses and pass this one up.”

A spokeswoman at Warner Bros. did not return phone calls Wednesday seeking comment.   “The Dukes of Hazzard” was a surprise hit for CBS, pitting “good-ol’ boys” Bo and Luke Duke and their moonshine-running Uncle Jesse against the crooked politician Boss Hogg and his bumbling henchman, Sheriff Coltrane, in fictional Hazzard County.

Jones was elected to Congress in 1988 as a Democrat. He lost his bid for a third term in 1992 after his district was redrawn. He owns Cooter’s Place, a “Dukes” memorabilia shop in Gatlinburg, Tenn.