HBO Pulls 'Game of Thrones' Episode With Bush Severed Head, Halts DVD Shipments

June 16th, 2012 10:50 AM

As NewsBusters reported Thursday, the season finale of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones included a gruesome image of former President George W. Bush's severed head impaled on a stake.

In the wake of heat from conservative critics including us, the New York Daily News reports the cable network has taken action to rectify its egregious error:

In the face of outrage from conservative critics, HBO announced Friday that it was pulling the episode in question - last year's season finale - from its rotation, as well as iTunes and HBO GO and froze all shipments of DVD box sets, until the offending scene could be edited out.

"We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste," the network said in a statement Friday. "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."

The Hollywood Reporter further observed, "[T]he dramatic end to the freshman season of the series adapted from George R.R. Martin's books will be edited for all future airings both domestically and internationally."

This is all well and good, but maybe HBO executives need to examine the culture of their organization from top to bottom to fully understand how something like this could have happened and what they're doing to foster such disrespect to right-leaning elected officials.

They could begin with their employee Bill Maher who on virtually a weekly basis says some of the most offensive things about conservatives of any media member in the country.

Is it possible that he is setting the low standards at HBO, and that everyone both within the organization and producing material for it believes there are no limits of decency when it comes to politicians on the right side of the aisle including showing an image of a former president's severed head on a stake?

HBO might end up doing the right thing concerning this incident, and we applaud that.

However, if disciplinary action to those involved is not strict enough, and a grander examination of all HBO programming along with guidelines for the future not accomplished, this will certainly happen again.

Failing that, a Band-Aid has just been applied to a severed artery.