HBO can't seem to stop finding itself at the center of bizarre prop controversies. First, it was George W. Bush's head on a pike in "Game of Thrones." In the latest incident to capture attention, it seems the network is engaging in some bi-partisan prop selections. On Monday night, during the most recent episode of "True Blood," characters appeared on screen wearing Barack Obama masks.
Deadline has more about the fascinating scene. In a different scenario than the Bush drama, it seems as though producers clearly intended for the masks to be observed and identified:
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”.
While the scene's inclusion of the masks was clearly more overt than it was in the Bush example (HBO inevitably apologized for the first infraction), some are wondering just how coincidental it truly was. According to Deadline, HBO is dismissing any claims that the masks were intentionally used in the wake of the "Game of Thrones" controversy to drum up PR for the network.
"It’s a complete and utter coincidence and one show has nothing to do with the other," a spokesperson said following the incident.
As stated, the network previously apologized for the Bush incident, which it claimed was never meant to offend the masses. The GOP-related prop, producers said, was used out of necessity, as it was simply "laying around."
While the show’s producers originally pointed out the Bush head in the DVD commentary for season one of "Game of Thrones," they clarified that it wasn't intentional. Still, the network later issued a retraction.