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Chuck Norris Extracts Blood Money from His ' Walker: Texas Ranger' Settlement

By Andrew Sanford | TV | July 26, 2023 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | July 26, 2023 |


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Before he was a meme and after Canon films made him a star, Chuck Norris spent almost a decade playing Cordell Walker on Walker: Texas Ranger. The show featured Norris’s Walker battling crime as a Texas Ranger, Texas’s statewide investigative law enforcement agency. The show was a massive success, and since 2019, Norris and his production company have been locked in litigation over the show’s profits. On Monday, Norris settled the lawsuit against CBS and Sony Pictures for an undisclosed amount.

My eyes got wide the moment I noticed this story. For those who are unaware, I am a big Texas Rangers fan. Not the law enforcement agency (more on that in a moment) but the professional baseball team. When I was young, I spent a year in Galveston, Texas. I saw Nolan Ryan pitch, and I’ve been a fan of the team ever since. My fandom led me to watch Walker: Texas Ranger, which was also my first introduction to the storied agency!

I loved the show. I still love my favorite baseball team. The real-life Texas Rangers? Oh, they’re awful. Despite Texas lore depicting them as mythical heroes, the Texas Rangers enlisted brutal and illegal methods to attack Native Americans and Mexican immigrants and hunt down escaped slaves. Hell, here’s an article from 1970 about the Texas Civil Rights Advisory Committee pleading with state officials to dissolve the unit due to their horrific treatment of minorities.

The Rangers were not dissolved. Two years after that article, the Washington Senators MLB team moved to Arlington and became the Texas Rangers. I cannot think of a bigger f*** you to the minorities of Texas than that. The fact that the name remains is still a point of contention.

Despite my longtime fandom, which began before I knew of the agency’s horrific history, I would welcome a name change with open arms. The Texas Ranchers has a magnificent ring to it, and you wouldn’t have to change much else. We’ve seen Cleveland adopt the moniker of the Guardians, and even Tampa Bay took the Devil out of the Devil Rays. It’s time to change, Rangers.

Norris certainly leaned into the mythic nature of the terrible, awful, no-good Texas agency. He is complicit in their legacy not looking like the pile of shit it is. Now, he has (somewhat) successfully sued to ensure he gets his blood money. There’s nothing I can do about that. What I can do is point out that the show is a Conservative’s wet dream of melodrama.

Since I am contractually obligated to mention Conan O’Brien on this site at least once a week, I’ll leave you with a clip from Walker: Texas Ranger that Conan made me aware of. At one point during his NBC tenure, Conan’s crew debuted the Walker Lever. It was a Lever that, when pulled, played a random, awful clip from Norris’s Pride and Joy. It is the only way the show should be remembered.