George W. Bush’s head has once again been removed on “Game of Thrones” — but this time hopefully it will quell controversy.
The network, which caught heat when series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed that they placed the 43rd president’s head on a spike during the show’s first season, has replaced the offending segment with an altered version of the footage featuring a new head (pictured, on the right), which sports a much smaller chin and is generally of a smaller size, the Washington Post reports.
HBO pulled the scene from its online platform and halted shipment on its DVD release of “Game of Thrones”‘ first season, after Benioff and Weiss made the reveal in the audio commentary of the DVD.
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“The last head on the left is George Bush,” Benioff said, as a series of severed heads mounted on spikes appeared on the screen.
“George Bush’s head appears in a couple beheading scenes,” Weiss added.
Benioff was quick to note that use of Bush’s head wasn’t intended as an insult to the former chief executive.
“It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement,” he said. “It’s just, we had to use what heads we had around.”
Nonetheless, when the use of Bush’s head was pointed out, the criticism came fast and hard, leading to equally swift apologies from both HBO and the “Game of Thrones” creators.
“We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste,” HBO said. “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.”
“We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc.” Benioff and Weiss said. “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.”
The pair went on to note, “We meant no disrespect to the former President and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.”