HBO is falling on its sword after a severed head prop used in Game of Thrones was noticed as looking a lot like President George W. Bush.
In a DVD commentary accompanying the Season 1 finale of the fantasy hit, creator David Benioff and executive producer D.B. Weiss mention that a spiked noggin — shown briefly when King Joffrey forces Sansa to look at her decapitated father’s face — does indeed resemble the 43rd president. But the pair maintains that the appearance had no ill will behind it.
“George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes,” they say in the commentary. “It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever heads we had around.”
HBO then issued its own statement, which threw the showrunners under the horse-drawn cart: “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 inadvertent, careless mistake.”
Much like Sansa after one of King Joff’s arbitrary beat-downs, the apologies continue. Benioff and Weiss added their own mea culpa late Wednesday, citing budgetary reasons for use of the familiar face and saying that they didn’t even notice while filming.
“After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush,” they said in the statement. “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 HBO’s statement, the premium cable channel will remove the Bush-alike head – which sports a decidedly unpresidential mop of ratty brown hair – from future editions of the DVDs.
Thrones fans, did you notice W’s face right up there with Ned Stark’s? And what do you think of all of the apologies galloping around the Interwebs like Stark bannermen? Sound off in the comments!