Forget winter coming. A sh*t storm has arrived. Over the past few days, the media has hopped onto something that has gone unnoticed since February. In the first season finale of HBO’s smash hit ‘Game of Thrones’, the severed head of former President George W. Bush is seen momentarily on a stake. The head is even pointed out in the commentary by producers on the DVD. Of course, some people didn’t find it as funny as others, including HBO. They swiftly issued a statement apologizing for the mishap and declared their intentions to remove the scene from future releases. The statement read:
“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. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.”
The producers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, also released a statement in response to the incident:
“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.”
Now, in addition to stopping the production of DVDs for season one, HBO has pulled the episode from iTunes and HBO Go until the scene can be edited out. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the episode will be reposted as soon as the editing occurs, but there’s no timetable yet as to when that will happen, which is unfortunate for those who are looking to get into or rewatch the show right now.
I understand that HBO’s gotta do what they gotta do to save face, but I find this all to be blown out of proportion a bit. Like they say in the commentary, they meant nothing political about it. It was just a prop head lying around, and they needed prop heads for the scene, so they used it. I can buy that. It’s expensive to have new body parts made for every production, or any prop for that matter, so studios tend to reuse things. They’ve been doing it for years! And haven’t we become a culture of recycling and being green? I’m surprised that more people aren’t commending the recycling of resources.
To be clear, it’s not (that) funny (to most people) to feature the severed head of a recognizable public figure in a film or TV show, but think about this: The other heads are people too. You don’t see someone new every day complaining that their likeness is being featured in a beheading scene or wherever. Yeah, the GoT producers probably should’ve kept their mouths shut about it, but people need to relax since it’s not like they were blatantly defaming the image in anyway. It was a quick shot. In fact, thanks to Collider, you can check out the scene below. At the end, the poster prolonged the shot, so pay no attention to that when forming your own opinions.
Anyway, no matter what anyone says about it all, someone’s going to be upset about it, so HBO did what needed to be done. Now let’s see how much original boxed sets of season one of ‘Game of Thrones’ go for on Ebay.