War is Not Entertainment: Protests of NBC’s New Reality Show “Stars Earn Stripes” Begin
Tonight in New York City, outside of NBC headquarters, there will be a protest calling for the cancellation of “Stars Earn Stripes.” What was NBC thinking when they green-lighted a reality show where celebrities try out military training for sport? If you watched the Olympics at all, you’ve seen the commercials of celebrities in army gear in what looks like an action movie. A show that NBC believes is, “pay[ing] homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and our first-line responder services.” But simulated war should not be reality TV entertainment. If anything this will be completely disrespectful to the women and men who have experienced the realities of war. Tonight’s protest is supported by nine Nobel Peace Laureates; Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984), Jody Williams (1997), Mairead Maguire (1977), Dr. Shirin Ebadi (2003), President José Ramos-Horta (1996), Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (1980), President Oscar Arias Sanchez (1987), Rigoberta Menchú Tum (1992) and Betty Williams (1977). The Laureates recently sent a letter to the Chairman of NBC Entertainment asking for the show’s cancellation. In their letter they explained that, “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. Military training is not to be compared, subtly or otherwise, with athletic competition by showing commercials throughout the Olympics. Preparing for war is neither amusing nor entertaining.” This show will only cause further public desensitization of war and violence. The Laureates go on to explain that, “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.” Do you agree? Will you be protesting this show? The protest is tonight at 5 PM outside NBC headquarters: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112. If you’re not in the NYC area, you can still tell NBC to cancel “Stars Earn Stripes” by signing the petition. You can also tweet @NBC to cancel @NBCStarsStripes and use the hashtag #WarIsntEntertainment. Read the full letter from the Nobel Peace Laureates: http://nobelwomensinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Laureates-Letter_War-Isnt-Entertainment-08-13-12.pdf?ref=204 Photo Credit The U.S. Army via the Creative Commons License.