Hey, former President George W. Bush has a cameo in the first season of Game of Thrones! Did you hear? Super cool ... except it's not exactly him. And it's not exactly a flattering cameo.
George W. shows up as a head on a stake. No really. Joffrey takes Sansa to see her father's decapitated head. Lo and behold, it looks like the head of the former president, only with a shaggy wig. In the DVD commentary of Game of Thrones, creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss even admit it's Bush's head. And it's not the only one, either.
Benioff and Weiss say in the commentary, "The last head on the left is George Bush. George Bush's head appears in a couple of beheading scenes." But it's nothing personal. And it's not political. "It's not a choice, it's not a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had around."
What the hell does that mean? Is there a shortage of Caucasian prosthetic heads floating around Hollywood and they didn't have the budget to create a less presidential head for the scene? Who keeps a George W. Bush head around?
Look, I was never a big fan of George W. Bush. And I admit, when I first read this and saw the picture, I laughed. Oh how I laughed. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I'm laughing more even now. Where was I?
Oh yeah, searching for my empathy. But if the same thing were done to Obama, I'd be mightily pissed, I tell ye. (Is that how they talk on Game of Thrones?) In its twisted way, it is disrespectful to the office of the president.
Anyway, HBO and the executive producers are apologizing. HBO sent io9 a statement:
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 apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.
And the executive producers said that the head just happens to look like George W., they were under budget pressure, and they should never have mentioned the head's likeness to the former president in the commentary. Huh, ya think?
Would you have noticed the head's resemblance to our former president if the commentary hadn't mentioned it?
Image via HBO