New reality show "Stars Earn Stripes" does "a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict," Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Peace laureates claim in angry letter
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sharon Osbourne finally have something in common: Neither of them are too fond of NBC's upcoming reality competition "Stars Earn Stripes."
The show, which was blasted by Osbourne for barring her son Jack from competition after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, is now under attack from Tutu and eight other Nobel Peace laureates, who claim that the show does "a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent."
The letter was sent to NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, series executive producer Mark Burnett, and Gen. Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander for NATO who will host the program.
"Stars Earn Stripes," which premieres Monday with a two-hour episode, puts celebrities through rigorous, military-themed exercises, with cash prizes going to military, veteran and first responder-based charities. Todd Palin, Dean Cain, Nick Lachey and Laila Ali are among those competing.
"This program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence,” the letter reads, according to The Washington Post. "Trying to somehow sanitize war by likening it to an athletic competition further calls into question the morality and ethics of linking the military anywhere with the entertainment industry in barely veiled efforts to make war and its multitudinous costs more palatable to the public.”
NBC denied the letters' accusations in a statement to TheWrap.
“'Stars Earn Stripes' is about thanking the young Americans who are in harm’s way every day," an NBC Entertainment spokesperson said. "This show is not a glorification of war, but a glorification of service.”
The letter was signed by Tutu, as well as Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, President Jose Ramos-Horta, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, President Oscar Arias Sanchez, Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Betty Williams.
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