Desmond Tutu and eight other Nobel laureates claim the new competition series likens war to an athletic competition, but the network argues that 'the show is not a glorification of war.'
After being hit with discrimination accusation by Jack and Sharon Osbourne, "Stars Earn Stripes" is now slammed by nine Nobel Peace Prize winners. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the other Nobel laureates send an open letter to NBC's exec Robert Greenblatt, asking the network to stop airing the show which they claim "trying to sanitize war by likening it to an athletic competition."
"Preparing for war is neither amusing nor entertaining," so they write. "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."
NBC, however, denies that the show glorifies war and armed violence. In a statement, the network insists, " '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."
The letter is signed by Tutu, American anti-landmines campaigner Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams of Northern Ireland, former East Timor President Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta, Argentine artist Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchu Tum of Guatemala and Iranian lawyer Dr. Shirin Ebadi. They additionally declare their support for a protest against the show which takes place outside NBC's headquarters in Manhattan on August 13, the same day the reality series premieres.
"Stars Earn Stripes" itself follows eight celebrities taking part in military-style trainings in a bid to win a grand prize which will be "donated to first-responder charity and veterans groups." Co-host Gen. Wesley Clark said in June, "This new series pays tribute to members of our dedicated armed forces and civil law enforcement."