Peter Berg, the writer-director of the Friday Night Lights movie and television series, is not pleased that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has co-opted a phrase from the show for his campaign appearances.
In a letter to the Romney campaign sent Friday and obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, Berg calls the use of "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" an act of stealing. "Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series," Berg writes in the letter. "The only relevant comparison that I see between your campaign andFriday Night Lights is in the character of Buddy Garrity — who turned his back on American car manufacturers selling imported cars from Japan."
Romney has used the "Clear Eyes" phrase in several campaign speeches, and it appears on his Facebook page. The Republican presidential nominee and his wife, Ann, are fans of the series, which ended its five-year run on NBC and DirecTV last year. Romney said in Iowa earlier this week that the phrase is "compelling." "That's Americans," he told an audience. "We have clear eyes — we know what we believe. Full hearts — we love this country and we can't lose. This is a time for Americans to make a choice. We're going to take back this country."
But the low-rated, critically acclaimed series set in a high school football program also featured several themes that might not necessarily be approved by a Romney administration. Among them: a character (Madison Burge) goes through with an abortion late in the show's fourth season. The decision follows a one-night stand the character had with a football star (Matt Lauria), and it is the school's principal Tami Taylor (Connie Britton) who guides her through the decision process.
Another theme explored in the series is that of military parents. A character (Zach Gilford) is raised by his ailing grandmother after his mother departs, and his military father shows little sign of caring for his son.