Heads are gonna roll at HBO. The network had to issue an apology for Game of Thrones decapitating George Bush in effigy. In the season one finale “Fire and Blood,” King Joffrey shows off a row of heads mounted on pikes, among the traitors is the former president. The scene had gone unnoticed until creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss called attention to it during the DVD commentary.
“People may not have noticed this but the last head on the left is George Bush,” they explained. “George Bush’s head appears in a couple beheading scenes. It’s not a choice. It’s not a political statement. It’s just we had to use whatever heads we had around.”
HBO released the following statement:
We were deeply dismayed to see this, and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series, who apologized immediately for this careless mistake. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms and have halted all future shipments of the DVDs, removed it from our digital platforms and will edit the scene for all future airings on any distribution domestic or international.
The castigated creators denied any malevolence and said they didn’t notice it until after filming. They clarified with their own statement:
What happened was this: 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. In the DVD commentary, we mentioned this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.