The head of former President George W. Bush, placed on a spike next to the decapitated head of former President Ned Stark (if only) in a Season 1 episode of Game of Thrones, has made for something of a controversial pop culture Mount Rushmore. Only now it’s Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss whose necks are on the line for the stunt.
After Bush’s, er, cameo, was discovered and caused something of an uproar, both HBO and Benioff and Weiss released apologies regarding the stunt. According to The Hollywood Reporter, on Wednesday HBO said in a statement, “We are 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. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.”
Benioff and Weiss, who explained in the DVD commentary that “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,” once again assured the use of Bush’s head wasn’t intentional. Benioff and Weiss explained in their statement, “We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: head, arms, etc. We can’t afford to have all these made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush. In the DVD commentary, we mention this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former President and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”
No matter what one’s political affiliation is, it’s safe to say we can all agree on one thing: Everyone wants to see King Joffrey’s head on a pike.