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'DUKES OF HAZZARD' Former star of TV show says movie mocks the original

Published: Tue, July 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

ATLANTA (AP) -- 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 Brothers movie, which is scheduled to be released 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."
Last week, Jones wrote an open letter to fans on his Web site, urging them to stay away.
"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 Aug. 5 release date I would strongly recommend that true blue Dukes fans hold their noses and pass this one up."
A spokeswoman at Warner Brothers did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment on Wednesday.
"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.

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