'Hawaii Five-0' Has Standoff With Pearl Harbor Vets at Gravesite Memorial, Issues Apology

Executive producer Peter Lenkov addressed the incident in a statement on Tuesday.
Mario Perez/CBS

CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 found itself in a PR mess in Hawaii after war veterans say the production was rude and disrespectful of them when the production and a memorial ceremony for Pearl Harbor’s 70th anniversary clashed last week.

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Denver radio host and board member of the Greatest Generation Foundation, Stephan Tubbs, wrote a lengthy account of how the show’s production disrespected his group of 23 war vets who had traveled to the island to pay their respects on the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack at The National Cemetery of the Pacific where the series was also shooting.

“Three hundred yards away and clearly visible to them, no one on the CBS production stopped for the anthem or any part of our program,” Tubbs writes. “This included the ending of our presentation – Taps and the moment of silence. I was perturbed, but because our veterans faced me, they couldn't see the disrespect. The ceremony ended and several men hopped on golf carts to visit their fallen comrades buried in other parts of the cemetery.”

He continues on to describe yelling by the crew and director for him to get out of the way and for anyone who isn’t part of the production to clear out. And he describes how the crew “hushed” the vets while they left red roses on gravesites. To top it off, at least one request by a vet for one of the actors to say hello to them during a shooting break was denied.

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According to the Hawaii Reporter, series executive producer Peter Lenkov issued an apology on Tuesday addressed to "veterans and members of the Greatest Generation Foundation whom we unintentionally offended when our events coincided." He then went on to state that the show and its crew are “pro-military,” but did take the opportunity defend the production from parts of Tubbs’ account of the crew’s behavior during and after the memorial ceremony.

"Our production crew is 80% staffed with local Hawaiians, many with ties to the military. We recognize the privilege of filming in Hawaii and we are acutely aware of the deserved respect for its culture, history and the reverence that should be afforded to all of our veterans, particularly those who served so nobly in Hawaii and at Pearl Harbor. Furthermore, the series we produce carries a demonstrative pro-military message.

"Contrary to some reports, to show respect, our crew did cease production for the playing of the national anthem, taps and for the remainder of the ceremony. When we resumed filming, we did encounter visitors from the ceremony. Any rudeness by our staff can only be attributed to haste to finish our work, not a lack of respect for men and women who have served and sacrificed for their country.  And for that, too, we sincerely apologize to any that were offended."

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro