Hawaii Five-0 producer's apology to Pearl Harbor vets insincere, says host
Hawaii Five-0's executive producer has apologized to members of Denver's The Greatest Generations Foundation, whose members were "unintentionally offended" when a ceremony on the seventieth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor coincided with filming. But the event's host, KOA's Steffan Tubbs, calls the apology insincere and shares e-mails with the producer, plus photos, to show why he reached that conclusion.
Big pics below.
Tubbs, who's also a board member of The Greatest Generations Foundation, traveled to Hawaii with a group of 24 veterans, 23 of whom were on Oahu on December 7, 1941 -- a day that Franklin D. Roosevelt correctly predicted would live in infamy. He believes it will be the last such journey due simply to the march of time. "The average age of our 24 veterans was 91, and the oldest was 96 -- he was midship on the Arizona when it was bombed and was thrown fifty feet into Pearl Harbor," he says. "Everyone was saying their goodbyes. So this event took us full circle."
The veterans arrived in Hawaii on December 3, and over the days leading up to the anniversary, they enjoyed a full slate of programs, including one at the Arizona memorial, leading up to the final event -- a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also Punchbowl National Cemetery, on the 7th.
Photo by Steffan Tubbs A crew member tried to prevent Tubbs from taking this photo of Terry O'Quinn walking along the gravesite.
By coincidence, Hawaii Five-0 was filming at the cemetery at the same time, in a spot that Tubbs estimates at more than 200 yards away; among the cast members on hand was Terry O'Quinn, a series regular best known for his work on the series Lost. Tubbs tried to snap a photo of O'Quinn as he casually strolled across the gravesite, but a crew member attempted to block off the shot -- an action that he sees as symbolic of everything that followed.
According to Tubbs, who emceed the ceremony for around fifty participants, many of the crew members failed to "stop or show their respects" during the National Anthem, the presentation of colors or the playing of "Taps" to conclude the approximately two-hour event. But in his view, the most offensive incident involved a part of the program near the end in which each veteran laid a rose on the marker of an unknown individual killed at Pearl Harbor.
"No one prevented us from laying the roses," he acknowledges. "But they had a guy with a backpack and an earpiece -- he was definitely with the production -- walking back and forth, talking, laughing and rushing the veterans. It's like when you go shopping with your wife and she's in the clothing section and you want her to hurry up, so you're pacing back and forth. That's what he was doing. And he told one of our staff members, 'Can you keep them quiet? We're rolling.'
Courtesy of The Greatest Generations Foundation A veteran leaves a rose at the grave marker of an unknown victim of the Pearl Harbor attack.
"Ten of our 24 veterans were in wheelchairs," he adds. "Some of these guys can barely get out of them. They'd stand up and hobble over to the marker -- and here's some jackass walking back and forth, trying to hurry them along. It's the kind of thing you wouldn't believe could happen, especially on that day. But it did."
Page down to read the e-mail exchanges between Tubbs and Lenkov.