American fantasy drama Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows worldwide. The series has received praise from critics for its acting, complexity of the characters, plot, and production value, but it has also drawn criticism for its frequent use of violence and n*dity.
Over the years, the show’s creators have encountered numerous controversies. The show, however, experienced one of its initial controversies in 2012 when viewers noticed the severed head of former US President George W. Bush being raised on a pike in a scene.
The disputed scene was a part of the first season of the Game of Thrones. Next to Septa Mordane’s head is one with a side profile. The characteristics looked exactly like Bush’s, despite the whole face being plainly visible.
HBO had to issue an apology over the controversy. The network in a statement, said, “We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series, who apologised immediately for this inadvertent, careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.”
In the DVD commentary, Game of Thrones creators DB Weiss and David Benioff discussed the prosthetic head. They said that using “whatever head was lying around” was all that was necessary and that no political comment was intended.
“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. … After the [Bush] scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W Bush. … We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologise if anything we said or did suggests otherwise,” the channel said in a statement.