It seems that former President George W. Bush made a “cameo” on the bloody HBO show Game of Thrones.
As Meredith Woerner of io9, the Gawker Media science/sci-fi site, wrote, “Turns out one of the many heads on a spike decorating King’s Landing belonged to ex-president George Bush.”
The show’s executive producers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, called attention to the moment during their commentary for the season one DVD. It was noticed by a Reddit user, then picked up by io9.
“The last head on the left is George Bush,” says Benioff. “It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. It’s just, we had to use what heads we had around.”
By the time the rest of the Internet (including Mediate, provider of the video above) picked up on Woerner’s story, HBO had begun damage control.
“We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste,” the network said in a statement, while also vowing to “have it removed from any future DVD production,” though they didn’t clarify if they meant the scene or the commentary.
In their own statement, Benioff and Weiss explained:
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.
According to Emily Anne Epstein at the Daily Mail, “Politicians are calling for a boycott,” of the show because of this, but “politicians” turned out to be just one guy in New York, Brooklyn Republican Party chairman Craig Eaton, who stressed respect for the office of the presidencey and, wrote Epstein, “would never condone President Barack Obama’s head being impaled for a television show.”