In February the first season of Game of Thrones hit home video. This week - months later - someone posted a thing at Reddit paraphrasing the episode 10 commentary, where show runner David Benioff and DB Weiss noted that one of the heads on a pike at King's Landing looked like George W Bush with a wig. Here's the clip from the commentary:
This is not a big deal. Anyone who has ever been involved with or understands how film production works will know that props get re-used ALL THE TIME. The dead bodies of famous people turn up in many movies in which they did not actually star because the prop house/FX company is saving money by re-using items.
But some people decided to make a big stink about this. Months after the commentary was released. A year after the episode aired. A big stink about nothing at all. I was disappointed when Benioff and Weiss apologized, because we live in a culture where people bend over and apologize way too often. Sorry, you're going to get offended - live with it. People get outraged over absolutely NOTHING and every public figure is so quick to bow to the whims of the mob and backtrack.
Then it got worse. Today HBO has pulled the episode from all digital platforms and is recalling shipments of the DVD/Blu box sets. I'm assuming they'll be re-editing the episode, or digitally replacing Bush with Chester A Arthur or something. This is lunacy. HBO shudders under the weight of a complete non-issue. I'm sickened by this reaction. How is it that this week we learned that Lara Croft is being turned into a rape victim in the new Tomb Raider and it's no biggie while this minor, meaningless thing becomes a full-blown scandal?
America, your knee keeps jerking. And about the wrong things... every single time. Shame on you, HBO. I hope Benioff and Weiss speak out against this.
I'd like to head off one thing: before anyone says "What if it was Obama?" remember that a black guy's head on a pike in this show would be wildly out of place. Ask 'What if it was Bill Clinton?' and my answer would be 'I would chuckle.'
And if you already have Game of Thrones season one on Blu/DVD - it's now a collector's item. Maybe the remaining Amazon stock will contain the scene as well. Buy up!