About-Face! Game of Thrones Creators Apologize for Nailing George W. Bush's Head on a Stake

Showrunners offer up a mea culpa after revealing they used a mask of the former president in a grisly scene from the series

By Alexis L. Loinaz Jun 14, 2012 1:24 PMTags
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Heads are no doubt spinning at HBO.

The network, along with the creators of its hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, have issued separate apologies after it was revealed that a decapitated head on a stake seen in a grisly scene from the show was made from a mask of George W. Bush.

But can they really save face? And what did they have to say for themselves?

"We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste," HBO said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed the shocker about Bush's mug in the DVD commentary for the series, initially justifying the decision as an apolitical move driven by necessity more than agenda.

"It's not a choice," they said on the commentary track. "It's not a political statement. It's just...we had to use what heads we had lying around."

In their apology, the creators regretted pointing out the gaffe in the DVD commentary but also seemed to justify the use of the mask.

"We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc.," Benioff and Weiss said in a statement to E! News. "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."

Republicans certainly don't see it that way: Brooklyn Republican party chairman Craig Eaton slammed the show for the gaffe, saying, "Whether you like him or dislike him, whether you're of the same political persuasion or not, we still have to respect the office of the presidency and all of those who hold that presidency."