The producers of the epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones have apologised after it was revealed a prosthetic replica of former President George Bush's head appeared on a spike in the show.
The scene, towards the end of the show's first season, occurs as newly-crowned King Joffrey forces his potential wife-to-be Sansa Stark to look at her father's head on a spike, shortly after King Joffrey has him killed as a traitor.
During the scene, which you can watch above, President Bush's decapitated head is visible for a single shot, masked by long, matted hair near the 1:00min mark.
According to the producers though, this was no snide attempt at politicking.
President Bush's head, left, was used in multiple scenes out of practicality, rather than as a cheeky statement, the producers confirmed
"The last head on the left is George Bush. George Bush's head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It's not a choice, it's not a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had around," producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed in the DVD commentary for the episode.
So you can put rest to the conspiracy theories that King Joffrey is a barbaric Democrat, then.
However, after being picked up by the link-sharing forum Reddit, the story went viral, prompting an apology from the company behind the show, HBO and the producers themselves.
The head is visible for only a single shot, but the producers and HBO have apologised
"We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologised immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production," the company said.
"We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can't afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk," the producers added.
"In the DVD commentary, we mentioned this, though we should not have. We meant no disrespect to the former President and apologise if anything we said or did suggested otherwise."