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Friday Night Lights Creator Accuses Mitt Romney of Plagiarism

Date October 12, 2012

Kyle Chandler, Mitt Romney

Clear eyes, full hearts ... cease and desist?

Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg has requested that Mitt Romney stop using the show's slogan "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" in his presidential campaign — and even accused the Republican candidate of plagiarism in a harshly worded letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

"Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series," Berg writes. (Buzz Bissinger, who wrote the book on which the television series was based, has endorsed Romney, though it was Berg who coined the phrase.)

Is another Friday Night Lights movie in the works?

Romney has previously said that Friday Night Lights is one of his and his wife Ann's favorite television shows. On the night of the first presidential debate last week, Romney staffers secretly put up a sign backstage at the University of Denver that read "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose." Romney's son Josh tweeted a picture of his parents standing under the sign, and Ann Romney later sent an email to supporters with a picture of Romney tapping the sign (as Kyle Chandler's character, Coach Eric Taylor, often did in the TV series) before walking out onto the debate stage.

It subsequently became a catchphrase for the Romney/Ryan camp, and Romney has been frequently using a slightly altered version of it in stump speeches on the campaign trail.

"This is something that we share in this country, men and women of clear eyes and full hearts, and America can't lose," he told a crowd in Iowa this week, according to the Washington Post.

Apparently Berg begs to differ.

"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," Berg writes in the letter. "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."

Do you agree with Berg that Romney should not be allowed to use the slogan?

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