Perhaps hoping to boost his chances in the Likud primaries next month, MK Oren Hazan posted a digitally edited image last week depicting himself and his parents as character from the hit television show "Game of Thrones." Only the controversial Knesset member forgot to ask permission from HBO, the American company that produces the series.
In a clear reference to the popular show, whose most famous tagline is “Winter is Coming," the poster features Hazan and his parents along with the caption, "The Hazans are coming" and the dates for the Likud primaries.
In response to a Ynet inquiry, HBO representatives said the network would prefer to not have its "trademark misappropriated for political purposes." But it is unclear whether the company intends to take legal action against the controversial MK, or demand that Hazan remove the poster .
It does seem, however, that Hazan infringed on HBO's intellectual property. The use of content from the show for political purposes is a sensitive issue for the American network, especially when it comes to spreading Game of Thrones' violent messages.
In his Photoshopped poster Hazan appears as the show's main hero Jon Snow, while his mother is shown as Daenerys Targaryen, his dragon-owning queen love interest, and his father, former MK Yehiel Hazan, is depicted as Jon Snow's adoptive father Ned Stark. In the background, three White Walkers, the show's undead antagonists, are portrayed by Arab MKs Ahmad Tibi, Jamal Zahalka and Hanin Zoabi.
In case anyone missed the point the Knesset member was trying to make, Hazan added a caption to describe himself that mimicked the show's style of listing characters' titles: "Son of the kingdom of the Likud, expeller of leftists, destroyer of terrorists, defender of soldiers, the first selfie-taker, the master of saying it like it is. Hang in there, in another 17 days it is happening." He also added the date of the primaries: February 5.
Just two months ago, HBO criticized US President Donald Trump for using Game of Thrones imagery to announce new sanctions against Iran. Also referencing the show's most recognizable phrase, Trump tweeted a picture of himself with the words “Sanctions Are Coming."
At the time, HBO released a statement accusing the American president of exploiting the content of the series to promote new sanctions against Iran. "We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes," HBO said in a statement.
Indeed, the TV network sent the same warning to the Israeli MK. Trump ignored HBO's request, and two weeks ago posted another digitally edited poster inspired by the show, this time announcing the start of construction of his wall along US-Mexico border.