The memorial, which includes wreckage of a downed U.S. B-52, was used as a location where contestants hunted for clues. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion organizations had criticized CBS over the show’s use of the memorial. Two Americans were killed when the bomber went down. The segment also included a choir singing a tribute to the Vietnam Communist Party.
“Parts of last Sunday’s episode, filmed in Vietnam, were insensitive to a group that is very important to us — our nation’s veterans,” said the CBS statement, read before the start of tonight’s episode. “We want to apologize to veterans, particularly those who served in Vietnam, as well as to their families and any viewers who were offended by the broadcast.” There was no immediate response from the VFW, whose National Commander Jack Hamilton had written to CBS President Les Moonves charging that “the B-52 scene, as well as the young people singing a propaganda song, was totally unnecessary to the show’s plot, which speaks volumes about naïve producers who think they’re in charge when they are not.”
American Legion National Commander and Vietnam War veteran James E. Koutz issued a statement that said “America is a forgiving country. When you make a mistake, you own up to it. The American Legion applauds CBS and The Amazing Race for its apology. … We believe it to be sincere and heartfelt. We would like to thank the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who supported us through their Facebook comments, tweets, e-mails and phone calls. We would also like to thank Fox News Channel’s Greg Gutfeld for bringing this to our attention and his colleague Bob Beckel”, Koutz said. “To CBS, I say, ‘apology accepted’.”