‘Game of Thrones’ and HBO Apologize For Putting George W. Bush’s Head on a Stick
The 'Game of Thrones' DVD box set has been selling like hot cakes during its first week of release, moving more units than any other series in HBO's history. However, an admission showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss make during the DVD's commentary has landed both the show and the network in hot water.
According to the pair, the disembodied head of a model of George W. Bush appears in a scene from season one in which King Joffrey forces Sansa Stark to look at the decapitated head of her father. It didn't take long for the image of the 43rd president's head on a stick to be isolated, and once it was the brief shot quickly circulated the internet.
In the DVD's commentary, Weiss and Benioff claim the decision to use the controversial president's distinctive face was not a "political statement," but rather it was just one of the heads they had laying around the set. They doubled down on that explanation in a statement released Wednesday night.
We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can't afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush . . . We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise."
HBO also weighed in, saying "We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste." The premium cable network added the offending scene and commentary have both been removed from all future DVDs.
But it will live forever on YouTube. (Or at least until it is removed.) See if you can spot George W. on a stick below.