Stars Earn Stripes Attacked by Nine Nobel Laureates Who Demand A Boycott
Author: Leslie Kasperowicz
published: 2012-08-14 10:11:50
NBC’s just-debuted reality series, Stars Earn Stripes is stirring up some bad feelings among some generally peaceful people. Nine Nobel Peace Prize winners, among them Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have come together to call for an end to the show, calling it “neither amusing nor entertaining” and accusing the show of glorifying war.
The series, which premiered just last night, teams celebrities with U.S. Marines and puts them through their paces in military-style exercises similar to those real soldiers would go through in training. The series is hosted by a retired U.S. General, Wesley Clark, and is touted by NBC as an “homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.” Who wouldn’t want Nick Lachey dropped out of a helicopter just to honor their work?
Apparently the nine Nobel laureates involved in the protest don’t see it as an honor. In an open letter to NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt, they asked the network to stop airing the show, according to a Reuters report. Says the letter:
It is our belief that this program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence. Real war is down in the dirt deadly. People — military and civilians — die in ways that are anything but entertaining.”
Glorifying war has been a big money-maker for Hollywood pretty much since cameras first started rolling. There is a long list of films focused on war over the years that have made it look a lot more glamorous than it is (and although I haven’t been in combat, I suspect it’s utterly lacking in glamour of any kind), and for the most part they don’t draw any protest. If the goal of this series is to give people a glimpse into what it really means to be in the army, they might have done it without celebrities, but then no one would have watched. As with most reality series, it’s more of a sideshow than anything resembling actual reality, especially when you add famous faces to the mix.
As for the protest, I would be interested to hear what actual service men and women have to say about it, since it’s they who are, according to NBC, being honored by the show. And since I doubt NBC will cancel it, I also have some suggestions as to who I’d like to see tossed out of a helicopter.
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