Nobel winners protest reality military manoeuvres
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’’.