Sunday, March 26, 2023


June 15, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

HBO has gone beyond a mere apology following the revelation that it used a model of George W. Bush’s head held on a barbarian’s spike in a scene ending the first season’s finale of Game of Thrones. It has followed up with the announcement today (Friday) that it is yanking the episode from all its digital outlets, including iTunes and its own HBO GO, has halted shipments of the Season 1 DVD set, and will edit the scene before it is shown again. In a statement, the network said that it found the scene “unacceptable, disrespectful, and in very bad taste” and that it had made its reaction “clear to the executive producers of the series, who apologized immediately for this careless mistake.” Only a partial profile of the head was shown in the scene, and a bloody long-haired wig had been placed on top of it. The head is supposed to represent the father of the character played by Sophie Turner. Presumably no viewer had identified it as resembling Bush, and the controversy did not erupt until fans noted that the use of the Bush replica was mentioned in the DVD commentary. (“People may not have noticed this but — back up — the last head on the left is George Bush.”) Co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said on Thursday that they use a lot of “prosthetic body parts” on the show that are rented in bulk to save money and hadn’t realized that they had used a head that looked like Bush until after the scene was already shot. They have insisted that they were not attempting to make a political statement and “meant no disrespect to the former president.” That explanation was rejected by some conservative bloggers, however. On, editor John Nolte commented, “The producers behind HBO’s Game of Thrones would’ve been better off had they simple said what is likely the truth, that they hate George W. Bush.”