No­bel win­ners protest re­al­ity mil­i­tary ma­noeu­vres

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY -

tele­vi­sion net­work NBC is de­fend­ing its new se­ries Stars Earn Stripes af­ter nine No­bel Peace Prize win­ners com­plained the show treats mil­i­tary ma­noeu­vres like ath­letic events. Arch­bishop Des­mond Tutu and the other No­bel lau­re­ates protested yes­ter­day in an open let­ter that the show glo­ri­fies war and armed vi­o­lence. NBC says the show isn’t ‘‘a glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of war but a glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of ser­vice’’. The se­ries, which de­buted in the US this week, pairs celebrity par­tic­i­pants with US mil­i­tary per­son­nel for sim­u­lated mil­i­tary chal­lenges. The let­ter was sent to NBC boss Robert Green­blatt and oth­ers con­nected with the show. It de­clares ‘‘pre­par­ing for war is nei­ther amus­ing nor en­ter­tain­ing’’ and asks NBC to stop air­ing the se­ries. Celebrity par­tic­i­pants in­clude box­ing cham­pion Laila Ali, Lois and Clark star Dean Cain, Olympic gold medal­list Pi­cabo Street and for­mer Alaska gover­nor Sarah Palin’s hus­band, Todd Palin. The pro­gram is hosted by re­tired army gen­eral Wes­ley Clark. ‘‘I’m do­ing this se­ries for one rea­son,’’ says Clark. ‘‘To in­tro­duce you, the Amer­i­can peo­ple, to the in­di­vid­u­als that sac­ri­fice so much for all of us.’’ Stars Earn Stripes says it ‘‘pays homage to the men and women who serve in the US armed forces and our first-re­spon­der ser­vices’’. The let­ter ar­gues ‘‘this pro­gram pays homage to no one any­where’’ and crit­i­cises it for ‘‘try­ing to some­how sani­tise war by liken­ing it to an ath­letic com­pe­ti­tion’’.

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