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HBO Exec Says 'Game of Thrones' Sex and Rape Scenes Are Not 'Gratuitous'

August 22, 2014, 9:16 am GMT

HBO programming director Michael Lombardo trusts showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss' judgment on the show's sexual content, saying that 'they have books as a map.'



HBO programming director Michael Lombardo has addressed the often controversial sex scenes and violence on "Game of Thrones". Speaking at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, he defended the level of violence and graphic scenes on the hit series.

"I personally don't see myself as a libertine," he said. "I don't think [graphic scenes] have ever been without any purpose." Believing that showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss "are two very sober, thoughtful men," he explained, "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."

Addressing a rape scene involving incestuous siblings Cersei and Jaime Lannister in season 4, Lombardo said, "I appreciate there was some controversy and it generated a conversation about what consensual sex is and isn't." He insisted that they never showed "sex and violence that's gratuitous," but "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."

Lombardo noted that HBO "is an adult service" and "our subscribers pay a fee for uncensored shows." He claimed, "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 and Dave 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," he stated.

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