Detroit City Council rejects permit to perform Smokey and the Bandit car jump before Autorama

Posted at 5:40 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 17:40:14-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit City Council has rejected having a stunt jump ahead of the Autorama show over Confederate flag concerns.

The stunt jump is typically what's done on a city street in order to kick off the show.

Councilman Scott Benson says, "Symbols of racism, oppression and white supremacy are not appropriate on our city streets and we rejected that."

He says back in 2017, the city gave the go ahead for a stunt jump with the General Lee, but insisted the Confederate flag on the roof must be removed. He says the Autorama show producers agreed, but that's not what happened.

He says the stunt jump went on with the General Lee and its Confederate flag on the car rooftop.

Peter Toundas is president of Championship Auto Shows which produces the Detroit Autorama.

When it comes to what happened two years ago he said, "The question I was asked, are we going to be waving Confederate flags. I said no we are not. Nobody asked me about the decal on the roof of the car."

This year, the plan was to use the Smokey and the Bandit car, which has shown a Confederate emblem on the license plate.

Toundas says he told city council that symbol would be removed and that was always the plan.

Benson says the city was "lied to" in 2017 and rejecting the event permit was what they had to do.

Toundas says he's in the process of reapplying for a permit to do the stunt show jump.

Benson says, "That time may have passed. It may be a better time to start talking about next year's jump and what the imagery and symbolism will be then."

The Detroit Autorama will be held from March 1st through March 3rd.