Sunday, June 17, 2012
George W. Bush's head on a spike? Tsk, tsk, Game of Thrones. HBO yanks season one episode.
On one hand, this whole controversy about HBO's Game of Thrones using a fake severed head of former president George W. Bush in episode 10 of season one is silly. It's something that the GOP blew up to recast itself as oppressed for the sake of gaining more power. How Cersei Lannister of them.
On the other hand, I've got to wag my finger at the Game of Throne producers and directors. Really? Dudes, as the HBO executives have now told you, that was tacky and disrespectful. A profile of the former president's head appears in the scene in which devil spawn King Joffrey Baratheon (all Lannister by blood) forces the less-and-less naive Sansa Stark to look at her father's decapitated head on a stick atop a palace wall with other so-called traitors' heads.
I see this foolishness with GWB's head in light of the Golden Rule—Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—and so I consider how would I feel if that were a fake President Obama head decapitated on that stick. I'd have smoke coming from my ears.
The show's response has been that the use of GWB's head was not a political statement but the result of budget constraints: due to a lack of funds, they used whatever heads they could find. It is to laugh that's such a bogus answer. And the whole thing feels like a publicity stunt given that no one would have known that was 43's head if the show's creators hadn't revealed it during the DVD commentary. What's more likely, however, is that some guy on the art team saw the head and did want to make a statement and used it quietly, not spilling the beans until after the show was in the can.
CNET reports that HBO, reacting to the uproar, will not run that episode of Thrones on the HBO Go platform until the offensive scene's been edited; same goes for the television broadcasts. In addition, the network has stopped future shipments of season one DVDs.
Darn it! I knew I should have bought that season.