'Friday Night Lights' Author Slams Peter Berg's Letter to Mitt Romney: 'Uninformed and Offensive'

Buzz Bissinger - P 2012
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Buzz Bissinger - P 2012

Buzz Bissinger, the author of the Friday Night Lights book that formed the basis for the movie and television show, is slamming the creator of the TV show's letter asking Mitt Romney not to use a key phrase from the show in campaign appearances.

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On Friday, Peter Berg, who directed the 2004 film and created the NBC/DirecTV series Friday Night Lights, penned a letter to the Romney campaign calling the Republican presidential candidate's use of the phrase "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" an act of "plagairism" that "falsely and inappropriately associates Friday Night Lights with the Romney/Ryan campaign." "Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series," Berg wrote in the letter.

Now Bissinger, who also is Berg's cousin, is responding to the letter in equally vitriolic fashion.

"I love Pete but he is being childish and petulant," Bissinger says in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "He should be flattered that Romney is honoring his show. Obama tried to use the slogan as well but unsurprisingly was ineffective in getting the message across."

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Bissinger, a well-known author and magazine contributor, wrote the 1990 nonfiction book about high school football in Texas that formed the basis for television series that aired for five seasons on NBC and DirecTV. He recently penned an article endorsing Romney in the presidential race.

In the statement to THR, Bissinger calls out what he sees as hypocricy.

"Berg is just another member of the Hollywood glitterati whose idea of liberalism is making sure their Mexican gardeners get paid only several dollars below minimum wage," he writes. "He has no idea what and who Romney is about. I find his letter uninformed and offensive."

Bissinger also takes Berg to task for calling himself the creator of FNL.

"And I am frankly sick and tired of Berg and everyone else acting as if he was the creator of Friday Night Lights. Without the book there never would have been a television show. He should feel lucky that anyone cares about it."

Email: Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

Twitter: @THRMattBelloni