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Updated: July 16, 2012 6:42AM
NEW YORK — HBO and producers of “Game of Thrones” apologized Thursday for a scene that depicted former President George W. Bush’s severed head on a spike.
The scene first aired last year and was repeated on a DVD release in March. But stories about it spread online this week, just as the network premiered a documentary on Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush.
Bush’s head was one of several in a scene where King Joffrey reveals to his fiancee the severed head of her father, who he had judged disloyal.
The former president’s features on the prosthetic head were partially obscured by long, scraggly hair, and the picture flashes by quickly.
The producers said they often order prosthetic body parts in bulk for “Game of Thrones” because it can be too expensive to make new ones. It wasn’t until the scene was shot that someone pointed out the resemblance to Bush, they said.
In a commentary included with the DVD, producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff noted the Bush similarity, making its presence clear to any fans who might not have noticed it the first time around.
“We meant no disrespect to the former president,” the producers said in a statement.
HBO said it has halted all further shipments of the DVD and removed reruns of the episode from its networks until the scene with the severed Bush head is edited out.