Leave it to Donald Trump to screw up the simplest Game of Thrones reference one could possibly make. On Friday, at the end of a very long, bad week, the president apparently decided to inject a little pop culture into his daily Twitter ramblings—specifically, by posting a photo of himself captioned, in the Game of Thrones title font, “Sanctions Are Coming.” Someone might want to tell him thats not how any of this works—but in the meantime, HBO has gone ahead and stated that it would like Trump to keep its juggernaut dramas name far away from his lips—and his Twitter feed.
“We were not aware of this messaging,” the premium cabler said in a statement, “and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.” To borrow words from Taylor Swift, HBO would very much like to be excluded from this narrative. In her own tweet, Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams responded even more succinctly: “Not today.”
In making its statement, HBO also joins a growing bevy of creators who have asked that Trump not use their work to forward his agenda. Earlier this week, Pharrell Williams threatened to sue the president for using his song “Happy” at a rally soon after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. The singers attorney said, “On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged nationalist, you played his song Happy to a crowd at a political event in Indiana. There was nothing happy about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.” And lets not forget all those artists that refused to perform for Trumps inauguration.
Trumps bizarre post was a reference to the administrations plan to re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of Barack Obamas nuclear agreement with the country back in 2015—but it also inserted an unintended point of reference. The picture actually draws a parallel between the Trump administrations plan and the greatest threat to humanity within the Game of Thrones world, which is probably not the message the president was going for. One might go so far as to say he knows nothing.
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