Desmond Tutu Calls for Protest, Cancellation of NBC's 'Stars Earn Stripes'

Desmond Tutu - P 2012
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Desmond Tutu - P 2012

Just hours before its premiere, NBC's Stars Earn Stripes is the subject of a protest organized by some of the world's more highly-regarded activists.

A total of nine Nobel Peace Laureates, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams and President Oscar Arias Sanchez, issued an open letter to the network, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt and host General Wesley Clark.

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They call the reality show, which follows celebrities competing in a boot camp of sorts with real soldiers, a "massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent."

The letter asks that the network cancel the series, scheduled to premiere Monday night at 8 p.m. ET, and solicits supporters for a planned protest outside of the network's 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters that evening.

NBC reps did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment, but this would not be the first occasion they've had to speak out on controversy surrounding the show.

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Jack Osbourne, who was in the running for a slot on the show, is claiming he was kicked off after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

This prompted mother Sharon, of The Talk and America's Got Talent, to announce her intent to leave her judge's seat on Talent out of allegiance to her child.

"Although we did not ask Jack to participate in the competition, we were able to offer him two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined," Greenblatt said in a statement. "This network does not discriminate on any basis."

Update: NBC has since come out with a statement saying, "This show is not a glorification of war, but a glorification of service.”