HBO apologized on Wednesday amid outrage for using former President George W. Bush’s decapitated head in “Game of Thrones.”
In commentary for the DVD of the series’ first season, one of the writers admitted that Bush’s likeness “appears in a couple of beheading scenes,” the New York Daily News reports, but insisted that it was not a political statement.
“We just had to use whatever head we had around,” the writer, who was not identified by the Daily News, said. The writer also did not explain where the prop came from.
The Republican president’s head was topped with straggly hair and appeared for only a second in one episode of the fantasy series that aired last year, when spoiled child king Joffrey shows Sansa Stark a line of heads on spikes.
The mention of Bush’s head went unnoticed until someone on the Reddit social news website flagged it, bringing swift condemnation.
As fury built up on Twitter, HBO moved to contain the fallout.
“We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste,” HBO said in a statement.
“We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.”
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the show’s creators, also apologized and tried to explain further how Bush’s head ended up in the scene.
“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,” they said, also in a statement.
“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," they added, “and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”
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