NBC found itself on the defensive Monday on the eve of the premiere of series “Stars Earn Stripes,” which has drawn the ire of anti-war groups.
Orgs including Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace and Peace Action have united to decry the unscripted skein as “war-o-tainment.”
Produced by reality kingpin Mark Burnett, “Stripes” features a cast of celebrity contestants engaging in faux military exercises under the tutelage of real-life veterans including Gen. Wesley Clark.
But an NBC spokesman returned fire Monday. “‘Stars Earn Stripes’ is about thanking the young Americans who are in harm’s way every day. This show is not a glorification of war but a glorification of service.”
In an open letter to Burnett, Clark and NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, the orgs recruited multiple Nobel Peace Prize winners including Archbishop Desmond Tutu to call for the series’ cancellation.
“Military training is not to be compared, subtly or otherwise, with athletic competition by showing commercials throughout the Olympics,” reads the letter. “Preparing for war is neither amusing nor entertaining.”
The protest groups announced plans Monday to picket outside NBC headquarters in Manhattan.