The producers’ excuse — they just happened to have the head of the former president laying around — didn’t fly. Now the show and the network that airs it are in damage control mode.
As fury built in political quarters and on Twitter, HBO moved into damage control mode.
“We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste,” the cable channel said in a statement.
“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 apologized as well and tried to offer more explanation as to how Bush’s head ended up in the scene.
“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,” they said in a statement.
“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,” the writers added, “and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”
No disrespect intended, by putting his head on a pike and then bragging about it on the DVD commentary? Not to go all gumshoe, but this new excuse doesn’t mesh with that commentary. A changing story indicates deception. The apology now is one of those “We apologize if…” fake apologies.
The original commentary says flatly that the head is George W. Bush. Now they’re saying that it just looks like him, and they only noticed that after shooting the scenes. No one noticed the resemblance before putting scraggly hair on the head and putting it on a pike? And no one noticed the resemblance before using it in another scene with severed heads?
Using Bush’s likeness was intentional, and the producers meant it as an Easter egg.