Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have apologized for offending their fellow citizens with a scene in the show's first season that features former President George W. Bush's severed head on a spike.
The head is one of a number of heads-on-spikes that that young, cruel prince Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) shows his betrothed, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), as an object lesson: This is what happens to his enemies.
Benioff and Weiss identify the head in a commentary track on the Game of Thrones: Season 1 DVD. "People may not have noticed this, but back up. ... The last head on the left is George Bush," they say. Seems they recycled the prop. "George Bush's head appears in a couple of beheading scenes," they add.
Brooklyn Republican Party chairman Craig Eaton is enraged. "Whether you like him or dislike [Bush] ... we still have to respect the office of the presidency," he tells E!News.
Benioff and Weiss have apologized, saying they buy props in bulk and did not realize one of the heads was a Bush look-alike until after they finished shooting the scene.
HBO reps say, "We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful, and in very bad taste." The head will be digitally altered in future editions of the DVD.
Katie Couric: I dig Bryant Gumbel
Reporters from Mediabistro overheard Katie Couric and Wendy Williams chatting at Williams' talk show studio about men they dig. Couric apparently said she could never see having an affair with her Today cohost Matt Lauer. It'd be weird since they work so closely with each other. Bryant Gumbel, she added, is another matter entirely.
Michelle Williams: Nice doesn't cut it
Michelle Williams, 31, who seems finally to be moving on from the tragic death of Heath Ledger, papa of her baby, Matilda Ledger, dispenses love advice in a chat with Canadian mag Flare. "You deserve more than just somebody who's nice to you," says Michelle, whose liaison with fellow actor Jason Segel is getting serious, the tabloids are reporting this week. "I think that so often these days, niceness seems like it should be enough because it seems like such a rare quality, but when you get inside of it, you think, ‘Hmmm ... I can be pretty nice to myself.'?" Don't settle for nice, says Michelle. "Life is too short and too crappy to not try to get more of what you want." Does that mean Segel is not a nice man?
Matthew McConaughey wedding: !!!
More hype about Matthew McConaughey's June 9 wedding in Austin, Texas, to Camila Alves! People devotes its new issue to the wonderful event with exclusive! photos! of the Catholic ceremony!, which featured the couple's two kids: Levi, who turns 4 on July 7, was ring bearer; and Vida, 2½, was a flower girl. MMcC goes all mystical in his comments to the mag. "We decided to embrace the ritual of marriage as an opportunity and adventure we'll take together," the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days star says. (Did people pay $ for the exclusive! pics? We hear they paid Jessica Simpson $850,000 for photos of her baby.)
Tom Cruise has three kids. Is happy
Tom Cruise, who turns the big 5-0 on July 3, is hitting the media circuit hard to promote Rock of Ages. So hard, he even shares quasi-personal details about his marriage to Katie Holmes (it's awesome!) and his three kids — Conner, 17, and Bella, 19, with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, and Suri, 6, with Katie. The details? They are wonderful, says Tom. So great, Tom doesn't need to make any more. "I'm so happy with three," the Impossible Missionary tells People. "I'm enjoying every second with Suri that I have. And I'm enjoying the relationship with my older kids, and the way it is right now," he adds in the exclusive! chat!
Tidbits 'n' pieces
Spartacus: Vengeance's lusty star, Lucy Lawless, pleaded guilty Thursday to trespassing, stemming from her February arrest in New Zealand for boarding an oil-drilling ship with fellow Greenpeace activists. ... NBC's Mockingbird Lane, a remake of the ghoulish sitcom The Munsters, is making headway: Portia de Rossi has signed to play Lily Munster (Yvonne De Carlo in the original) opposite Jerry O'Connell's Herman, first assayed by Fred Gwynne. ... Courteney Cox Arquette has answered hub David Arquette's divorce filing with one of her own. She backs David's request for joint custody of their girl, Coco, 8. She also requests the name Arquette be dropped from her surname.
Bristol Palin sued by heckler
A man named Stephen Hanks is suing Bristol Palin for defamation, invasion of right to privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, says E! News, over an incident in September at the Saddle Ranch restaurant in West Hollywood.
It sounds loony: Bristol was there to shoot reality show Life's a Tripp. Hanks verbally accosted her when she took a ride on the mechanical bull. "Did you ride Levi like that?" he said, referring to Bristol's baby's daddy, Levi Johnston. That was his most polite interjection. Bristol shot back in kind, saying Hanks hated her because he is "a homosexual."
Hanks later apologized. Now he's suing, his lawyer Michael Gulden says, because Hanks never signed a release allowing Bristol's show to feature footage of him. How much does Hanks want? $100 million? $250 million? Seems he doesn't think big: He wants $75,000.