Does The TV Show “Stars Earn Stripes” Glorify War?

In the endless quest to create new, exciting and compelling reality TV shows, it seems that producers sometimes engage in strange equation-making. Z-list celebs + jungle setting + strange tasks = “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.” Or desperate single ladies + mansion setting + one eligible dude = “The Bachelor.” But the math for the latest reality TV iteration, “Stars Earn Stripes,” seems all wrong. In this one, military professionals + Z-list celebs + real ammo and explosions is supposed to equal good TV. But many feel that the show — which stars Nick Lachey and Olympic skier Picabo Street, amongst others — not only makes a mockery of the important work of the Armed Forces, but also glorifies war.

The show pairs each celebrity star with an active duty soldier, and takes them through the paces of planning and executing battles. Says NBC, “’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.”

But an online petition claims:

This show makes war a game, and war is anything but a game.   In real war there are no prizes only the hope that you survive to come home to one’s family and friends.   Men and women in combat face situations that are real, life threatening, and they do it for our freedom as a nation, not for a game show prize.

This is a terrible insult to our Veterans and our active duty Armed Forces.

So far, more than 600 people have signed. Additionally, nine Nobel laureates wrote an open letter to NBC producers calling for the show to be cancelled. The letter reads, in part:

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. Communities and societies are ripped apart in armed conflict and the aftermath can be as deadly as the war itself as simmering animosities are unleashed in horrific spirals of violence. War, whether relatively short-lived or going on for decades as in too many parts of the world, leaves deep scars that can take generations to overcome – if ever.

Have you watched “Stars Earn Stripes”? Do you think it glorifies war or does it successfully highlight the work the Armed Forces does? [Mashable]