HBO programming president Michael Lombardo defended “Game of Thrones” against criticisms that it includes gratuitous scenes of sex, violence and rape, saying his job isn’t to police “how many breasts there are on a show,” reports the U.K. publication The Guardian.
Lombardo, who spoke at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, said the show’s writers have sought to remain authentic to the novels that they are based on.
“I personally don’t see myself as a libertine,” Lombardo said. “I don’t think [graphic scenes] have ever been without any purpose. Dan [Weiss] and Dave [Benioff] 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.”
One scene that involved Jaime Lannister raping his twin sister had drawn criticism, with complaints that it was an unneeded switch from George R.R. Martin’s books, where the pair have consensual sex, the story adds.
“I appreciate there was some controversy and it generated a conversation about what consensual sex is and isn’t,” Lombardo said. “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.”
He added that HBO “is an adult service. Our subscribers pay a fee for uncensored shows.”