Does the HBO prop department do all its shopping on Pennsylvania Avenue? Just a few weeks after controversy erupted over the head of President George W Bush appearing atop a pike on the network’s Games Of Thrones, Barack Obama showed up on True Blood last night. Actually it was several Obamas: On the episode, a truck full of gun-toting thugs in Obama masks pulled up firing at characters Sam Merlotte, Luna Garza and her daughter Emma. “True Blood’s production team purchased several Obama masks from us earlier this year, and we’ve been waiting in suspense for them to appear,” mask provider Costume Craze wrote today on its blog about the “pretty scary scene”.
Though the gang’s appearance was more like 1991’s Point Break — where bank robbers wore presidential masks in pulling their heists — than Games’ depiction of Bush, it was still an odd occurrence considering the timing of the Thrones controversy. “It’s a complete and utter coincidence and one show has nothing to do with the other,” an HBO spokesperson said today.
The head of the 43rd president actually appeared months ago on a Season 1 episode of Thrones, but it received widespread attention only recently after series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss pointed it out on their DVD commentary. “George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes,” the producers said. “It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever heads we had lying around”. HBO later said the use of the Bush head was “unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste” and pulled the episode from digital platforms like HBO GO and iTunes. The episode returned recently online and in digital retail with the head noticeably edited.