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HBO Chief Defends "Thrones" Sex & Violence

By Garth Franklin Friday August 22nd 2014 11:12AM

HBO's president of programming Michael Lombardo has defended the graphic sex and violence in HBO's "Game of Thrones" at this week's Edinburgh International Television Festival. Lombardo says showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have stayed true to George R.R. Martin's original books:

"I personally don't see myself as a libertine. I don't think (graphic scenes) have ever been without any purpose. Dan and Dave are two very sober, thoughtful men. They have books as a map, which involve wars, violence, sex. We have certainly not given them an edict or a note that they need to tone down the sexual content in the show."

There was some controversy over an infamous sex scene between Jamie and Cersei Lannister this past season in regards to whether it was consensual or an act of rape. Lombardo admits "it generated a conversation about what consensual sex is and isn't". However, he says that as a pay TV operator he has more freedom than free-to-view broadcasters, and they use that freedom responsibly:

"It is an adult service. Our subscribers pay a fee for uncensored shows. My job is to be in business with responsible creative forces. And if I am doing that I trust their decisions about what is appropriate for the character or not.

And I feel we made the right choice with Dan (Weiss) and Dave (Benioff) and they continue to try to be responsible. As long as I feel that (violence) isn't the reason (people) are watching the show, that it isn't a show trying to attract viewers with sex and violence, I am not going to play police."

People responsible for programming have two responsibilities. To be responsible, not to have sex and violence that's gratuitous. That is certainly not who we are. At the same time we don't want to be a censor that inhibits the authentic organic creative process by policing how many breasts should be on a show."

"Game of Thrones" is currently in the midst of filming its fifth season which will go to air in the second quarter of 2015.

Source: The Guardian

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