Hollywood Jerks Edition: Pearl Harbor WWII Vets’ Cemetery Ceremony Disrespected & Interrupted by CBS ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Producers & Crew Members (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on December 14, 2011
Last week was the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In Honolulu, Hawaii, 24 World War II veterans — 23 of whom survived the Pearl Harbor attack — were engaged in a solemn, rose-laying cemetery ceremony at some of the graves of their fallen comrades at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
But in a jaw-dropping, “you have GOT to be kidding” fashion, the “it’s all about us” entertainment industry barged in. Crew members and producers of the CBS TV drama Hawaii Five-O were filming at the cemetery, and in so doing, kept interrupting the vets’ ceremony, tried to hurry it up, and told the vets at one point to “hush.” They thoughtlessly, crassly mucked up the emotional tribute ceremony.
This version of the Hawaii Five-O show is a revival of the popular television show that starred Jack Lord, James MacArthur, and Cam Fong, and ran from 1968 to 1980. Something tells me this grotesque disrespect for our courageous veterans and their Pearl Harbor Day ceremony would never have happened with the original crew and producers.
Many of the veterans, averaging 91 years of age, reportedly gave the CBS crew “a one-fingered military salute” when they left the cemetery.
Amen to that.
Some of the grim details from Mediaite, Report: The Crew Of Hawaii Five-0 Disrespected Pearl Harbor Vets During Hawaiian Cemetery Ceremony:
Steffan Tubbs, a reporter for Newsradio KOA in Denver, and a board member of the Greatest Generations Foundation, broke news this week of an incident at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, where, he claims, a group of 24 veterans had their ceremony repeatedly interrupted and disrespected by producers and crew from the CBS drama Hawaii Five-0.
Tubbs was accompanying the 24 veterans (23 were survivors of Pear Harbor), serving as emcee of the ceremony, and recounted to Fox and Friends some of the abhorrent actions that he saw:
“At one point we were hushed and rushed through a rose-laying ceremony on some of the graves. There was a production member with a backpack and an earpiece who basically walked through all of us as we were doing this somber — very somber — ceremony and was trying to hurry us up. At one point he said, ‘Please be quiet, we’re rolling.’ And it was the ultimate disrespect.”
In the blog post that started the controversy, Tubbs said that he and the veterans — who had an average age of 91 — were told by staff that, “We rented this part of the cemetery,” and later to, “get out of the line of sight. If you don’t belong here, clear out.” Production assistants kept pushing Tubbs and the veterans farther away from the shooting, eventually asking them to quiet down at a rose-laying ceremony. He told KHON in Hawaii that the worst part of the experience for the veterans was watching members of the Hawaii Five-0 crew stomping across headstones without regard. The sentiment was echoed by Timothy Davis, President of the Greatest Generations Foundation.
“With so many veterans around, you do not, in my opinion, walk on top of the graves of people who gave their lives for this country all in the name of a Hollywood production,” Davis told KHON. “At this point somebody just needs to step up and say we’re sorry.”
In his original blog post, Tubbs notes that some of the crew members were incredibly nice and getting yelled at by superiors for letting the onlookers linger (one even offered Tubbs and a veteran a cold soda). He also said that he’s been around sets before and knows that things are hectic and expensive. “Production on such a grand scale isn’t free,” Tubbs writes. “To that I say: neither is freedom.”
Tubbs confirmed to Fox and Friends that crew members were, “walking on graves, [with] the cameras, the booms, [and] the mics. But when they started hushing the veterans and rushing them along, that’s when I took issue.”
From E! Online, Oops! Hawaii Five-0 Shoot at Cemetery Angers Pearl Harbor Survivors:
It was indeed a day that will in infamy, but it’s not the one you’re thinking.
CBS apologized to World War II veterans who were offended by a Hawaii Five-0 shoot at a Honolulu cemetery last week at the same time they were commemorating Pearl Harbor and the victims who died in the attack.
Here’s what happened.
Per the Hawaii Reporter, 23 survivors attended a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific paying tribute to their fallen comrades when they were taken aback by the sight of the police procedural filming a scene nearby featuring Lt. Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) visiting his fictional father’s grave—apparently with little heed to the actual heroes buried at the sacred site.
The controversy was stoked by Steffan Tubbs, a morning news cohost in Denver and a board member with the Greatest Generations Foundation, who wrote a piece Monday in The Reporter claiming the crew not only walked all over the graves of the victims, but didn’t halt their work and show the appropriate respect during the ceremony when the vets held a moment of silence and taps and the national anthem were played.
Adding insult to injury, he noted that a Five-0 production assistant asked the group to move, noting producers had rented that part of the public cemetery for the day, and camera and lighting equipment was placed on some graves or close by.
“It gets worse,” added Tubbs. “The TGGF program had brought 24 red roses to place at the gravesites on the opposite side of the Punchbowl. The program crew actually had one of their men wearing a backpack and earplug walk through—infiltrate—our rose-laying ceremony hushing everyone.”
He called the crew’s behavior “a disgrace,” and after they boarded the bus, he said that at his urging, many of the Greatest Generation in his group gave the CBS crew “a one-fingered military salute.”