'Friday Night Lights' filmmaker Peter Berg rips Mitt Romney for plagiarism

The author of the book Friday Night Lights is a vocal Mitt Romney fan, and at recent campaign appearances the Republican presidential candidate has been using the inspirational phrase from the TV adaptation: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

But that expression isn’t in the book, and Peter Berg, who directed and co-wrote the screenplay for the 2004 movie, and went on to create the 2006-2011 TV series, has released a scathing letter to Romney, telling him to cut it out.

Governor Romney:

I created the TV show “Friday Night Lights” and came up with the phrase “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.”

I was not thrilled when I saw that you have plagiarized this expression to support your campaign by using it on posters, your facebook page and as part of your stump speeches. Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series.

The only relevant comparison that I see between your campaign and “Friday Night Lights” is in the character of Buddy Garrity — who turned his back on American car manufacturers selling imported cars from Japan.

Your use of the expression falsely and inappropriately associates “Friday Night Lights” with the Romney/Ryan campaign. Mitt, we all wish you and your family all the best. We are grateful for your support of our beloved show, but we are not in any way affiliated with you or your campaign. Please come up with your own campaign slogan.

Sincerely,

Peter Berg.

Berg’s cousin Buzz Bissinger — author of Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream — wrote has said he plans to vote for Romney, even though he supported Obama in 2008.

The Romney campaign has had many artists ask them to stop using songs with the campaign, among them Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, who denounced Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan reportedly using the group’s hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” on the campaign trail, and Silversun Pickups said they wanted the Republican campaign to stop playing their 2009 song “Panic Switch.”

When Ryan said one of his favorite bands was Rage Against the Machine, the group’s lead guitarist, Tom Morello, wrote an op-ed indicating the feeling wasn’t mutual: “Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”

One can only guess what Big Bird has to say.

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