HBO Pulls ‘Game of Thrones’ Episode Over Bush’s Head, Issues New Statement
Obviously a major company like HBO doesn’t take potentially disastrous situations like their highest-rated program showcasing a beheaded former President on a pike lightly. Though it seems now that the pay-cabler network has taken yet another step in addressing this week’s infamous ‘Game of Thrones‘ controversy. And even though the DVD commentary that started the strife in the first place has been public for months, this next move for the ‘Game of Thrones’ PR disaster might be a step too far.
According to a report from Deadline, HBO has opted to completely pull rotation of ‘Game of Thrones’ season 1 finale “Fire and Blood” for its infamous depiction of a severed head with the likeness of former President George W. Bush. Even more than simply pulling the episode from TV, however, HBO has opted to remove “Fire and Blood” from all digital platforms, including HBO Go and iTunes.
Additionally, the network has halted all shipments of ‘Game of Thrones’ DVDs and Blu-Rays containing the image. The episode will be returned to rotation, digital platforms and DVD production when the image has been completely edited from the episode.
And as if that weren’t enough, HBO has issued a new statement condemning show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, saying in a statement Friday:
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 careless mistake.
We condemn it in the strongest possible terms and have halted all future shipments of the DVDs, removed it from our digital platforms and will edit the scene for all future airings on any distribution domestic or international.
Sheesh. We understand the complex web of public relations and patriotism that would necessitate such a stern response to the depiction of Bush, even if Benioff and Weiss clarified early that no message was intended by it. For those of you that already own the DVD, looks like you’ve got yourself a bit of a collector’s item!
What about you? Do you think the depiction of Bush went too far, or is HBO justified in their harsh reprimand? Keep your head, and tell us what you think in the comments below!