1:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Game of Thrones': Bush Head Gets Radical Face-lift
HBO has done a number on the controversial Game of Thrones scene depicting what resembled the severed head of former President George W. Bush.
The cable network has edited and restored the season-one finale of its period drama to its digital platforms after performing a radical face-lift on what producers acknowledged that a scene in the episode depicted a model of the 43rd president's severed head on a spike in the hour.
In the new scene, the model has a drastically smaller chin and nose and what appears to be a considerably smaller face.
HBO yanked the episode -- and halted DVD shipments of its season-one Thrones boxed set -- after showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss noted the likeness in a commentary included in the best-selling set, adding that the decision to use the model was motivated by budget and not by politics.
"George Bush's head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It's not a choice; it's not a political statement," the duo said in the commentary. "We just had to use whatever head we had around."
The duo apologized after the story went viral, with HBO issuing a stern statement condemning their actions.
"We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste," the network said at the time. "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 Washington Post first reported the news.
Do you think the new model still looks like Bush? Hit the comments with your thoughts.