Published June 14, 2012
LOS ANGELES – In the same week that HBO is premiering a documentary about President George H.W. Bush, it has been revealed that the network’s popular drama “Game of Thrones” used a modeled head of his son President George W. Bush in a grisly decapitation scene.
The tenth episode of season one “Game of Thrones," now out on DVD, features the younger Bush’s head on a stake, and notes that his head appears in a “couple of beheading scenes,” according to commentary on the “Game of Thrones” DVD.
The show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss state that George W. Bush’s was used as physical inspiration to create a head for a scene in which King Joffrey shows Sansa Stark her deceased father’s head on a stick.
“It’s not a choice, not a political statement!” one of the writers insisted during the DVD commentary. “We just had to use what heads we had around.”
HBO did not respond to our request for comment, but as outrage mounted Wednesday, they released a statement saying they were "deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste." HBO also said the scene would be removed from future DVD pressings.
The producers also did an about face, kind of, releasing their own statement.
“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," the statement read. "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.”
Several people on social media sites called for a boycott of HBO, calling the “Thrones” move “uncool” and an example of “lamestream media.”
However, others on Twitter gave the impaling act the thumbs up.
“No wonder I love this show,” tweeted one, while another called it “clever.”
HBO is owned by Time-Warner, the same network which owns CNN.