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Why Is the Creator of 'Friday Night Lights' Accusing Mitt Romney of 'Plagiarism'?

FILE - In this March 28, 2012 file photo, director Peter Berg poses for photographs at a central London hotel for the photo call of "Battleship." Berg, who created TV's Friday Night Lights, is accusing Mitt Romney of plagiarizing a phrase from the show to use as a campaign slogan.Credit: AP

The creator of the "Friday Night Lights" television series and movie is accusing Mitt Romney of plagiarizing a phrase from the show to use as a campaign slogan -- and he's not happy about it.

Peter Berg wrote a letter to Romney on Friday saying he's "not thrilled" that the Republican presidential candidate is using the show's "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" slogan on campaign posters and his Facebook page.

On the TV show, a small-town Texas football coach uses the phrase to inspire his players before taking the field.

Berg's agent distributed the letter to the media. In it, the writer-director-actor says Romney's politics and campaign aren't aligned with the themes of the TV series.

"The only relevant comparison 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 said in the letter, obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter.

He also wrote that the "politics and campaign" of the Romney/Ryan ticket "are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series."

Berg goes on to thank the governor for supporting the show but says, "Please come up with your own campaign slogan."

To read Berg's entire letter, click here.

However, there is another piece of controversy stirring in this scathing rebuke of Romney, which was caught by the Huffington Post:

While Berg -- who came up with the phrase -- is quick to rebuke the Romneys, the author of the book the series and movie are based on recently endorsed the candidate in a column posted by The Daily Beast. Buzz Bissinger wrote that Barack Obama's poor debate performance and what Bissinger sees as Romney's emerging, moderate platform led him to make that decision.

In a follow-up piece, Bissinger says he has been vilified by the "liberal media" and his own friends, some of whom he believes he'll never feel the same about.

Bissinger also slammed Berg's letter on Friday in a statement to THR:

"I love Pete but he is being childish and petulant...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."

The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Berg is also currently directing the movie version of "Lone Survivor," based on the best-selling book. The Hollywood Reporter explains the plot:

Lone Survivor recounts how [Marcus] Luttrell and three other SEALs were on a reconnaissance mission near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2005. They came across an old man and three boys, and while knowing that it could jeopardize their lives, the commandos let the group pass. The act of mercy backfired, and soon the team was under attack by a small Taliban army. Luttrell was the only one who survived. A later firefight led to the largest loss of life in SEAL history.

Luttrell has appeared on The Glenn Beck Program a several times.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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