What is news? (“Game of Thrones” and Bush’s head)
Well, it has hit the news cycle.
In the DVD commentary finale to the first season of the television show Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (executive produces and scriptwriters) mentioned that they used a George Bush head in some of the decapitation scenes:
The DVD/Blu-Ray commentary says:
George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever heads we had lying around.
Now here’s the thing – that DVD/Blu-Ray was released three months ago, on March 6. There must have been tens of thousand of people who have heard that commentary (including me). And suddenly it becomes news. Why? Because someone mentioned it on Reddit.
Benioff and Weiss suddenly apologized:
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 scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush.
In the DVD commentary, we mentioned this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise.
And HBO promised to censor all future releases:
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.
Now, how can something that DVD/Blu-Ray – that was widely released in March – that has been heard by countless people – all of the sudden become news? It is not as if these were remarks that were in anyway hidden or secret. HBO advertised this disk. HBO produced this disk. This is something that many fans of the show knew.
Now, certainly, this was in poor taste. But it does not seem that Benioff and Weiss are very sorry: they apologize for mentioning it on the commentary track, not for using the former president’s head in decapitation scenes. I even more surprised by the mendacious statement by HBO – again, the author (for copyright purposes) and producer of the DVD. But I reserve my greatest scorn for the news media – how is this news? And since when is the US news agenda defined by Reddit?
From Futurama, as noted here.