HBO has responded to Donald Trump’s use of Game of Thrones memes on Twitter after the President was cleared of suspected collusion during campaigning in 2016.
Trump showed his appreciation with a Game of Thrones inspired image after the release of the redacted Mueller report today (18 April).
In the image it states: “No collusion. No Obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats – Game Over” – the final two words in the meme using Game of Thrones style lettering.
But HBO have now released a statement which emphasised it prefers its intellectual property ‘not be used for political purposes’.
The statement, issued to The Hollywood Reporter earlier today, said: “Though we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of Thrones now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes.”
It’s not the first time Trump has used Game of Thrones references in his political career. Late last year the president issued a warning to Iran about reimposing all U.S. sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. The meme warned, “Sanctions are coming,” a reference to the words made famous by House Stark: “Winter is coming.”
HBO issued a statement at the time, which sounded fairly similar to the one released today: “We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.”
The network later tweeted: “How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?”
How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?
— House Box Office (@HBO) November 2, 2018
After Trump’s latest use of Game of Thrones memes, some of his critics took to Twitter to make fun of the president. Journalist Erick Schonfeld said: “It’s amazing that the President of the United States’ first instinct today was to tweet out memes.”
It's amazing that the President of the United States' first instinct today was to tweet out memes https://t.co/JmXKAoyMFM
— Erick Schonfeld (@erickschonfeld) April 18, 2019
Another, author Julius Sharpe, said of Trump: “Is that Sansa?”
In reference to the HBO statement, media critic Brian Lowry said: “Subtext: Could you go pick on Disney or Netflix for once, and leave us alone?”
Subtext: Could you go pick on Disney or Netflix for once, and leave us alone? https://t.co/DeDYG5h4Tx
— Brian Lowry (@blowryontv) April 18, 2019