Republicans are calling for a boycott of HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones after the creator’s “despicable” decision to include former US President George W. Bush’s severed head in several scenes.
In the tenth episode of the first season, George Bush’s decapitated head is seen impaled on a wooden spike, covered in filthy long hair and slathered in dirt.
HBO and the show’s creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have apologized for the incident.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who noted the appearance in the series’ DVD commentary, insist it wasn’t a political statement – just a prop they got from a production company.
But the image has provoked outrage from at least one Republican politician and a backlash on Twitter.
HBO called the scene “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,” HBO said in a statement.
The creators said the regret pointing out that one of their prosthetic heads looked like the former president. They said the rent prosthetic body parts in bulk and no on even noticed the head looked like George W. Bush’s until after they were done shooting the scene.
The finale of the first season of Game of Thrones, Fire and Blood, one of the series’ beloved characters Ned Stark is beheaded by new King Jeoffrey for treason.
In one brutal scene, King Jeoffrey brings his bride-to-be to gaze upon the severed head of her father.
Sansa Stark refuses at first, but then looks up to see not only her father, but also George W. Bush.
The surprise sighting went largely noticed until a user on Reddit pointed out the presidential prop.
When the show’s creators revisit the scene in the DVD commentary, they make sure viewers notice the former Head of State.
“People may not have noticed this but back up…the last head on the left is George Bush,” one says.
“George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes,” the other adds.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say it was no condemnation of George W. Bush and his policies.
“It’s not a choice. It’s not a political statement,” one says.
“It’s just.. we had to use what heads we had lying around.”
Craig Eaton, chairman of the Brooklyn Republican Party, was disgusted by the former president’s “appearance” on the show.
“I think that it’s despicable. As a country, Democrats, Republicans, we have to have respect for the office and the individuals,” he said.
“Once we lose that respect, the United States looks weak.”
He continued: “Think about what people outside the country think when they see how Americans are disparaging their own former presidents.”