The History Channel miniseries “The Bible” has been generating heavenly ratings, with more than 14 million viewers tuning in to its debut episode. But the show generated some controversy with its Sunday night episode in which the character playing Satan made his debut. The controversy was not over anything happening on screen, but rather whether or not the actor playing Satan looks a little too much like President Barack Obama.
Conservative media figure Glenn Beck was the first big name to address the odd similarity, writing on his Twitter account, “Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?”
Beck was not alone, with thousands of viewers and several media outlets jumping on the story. Many were quick to note the similarity reminded them of a recent controversy in which it was discovered that the makers of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” had used a prop of George W. Bush’s head in a grisly scene.
History Channel has been quick to deny any similarities between the two, issuing the following statement:
“HISTORY channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. HISTORY’s 'The Bible’ is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history.”
And honestly, while the actor does bear a striking resemblance to Obama in the image posted to Beck's Twitter account, he looks more like a Jedi from "Star Wars" that the president is always talking about than history's biggest villain.
Interestingly, Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, who portrays Satan, has appeared in a number of film productions with religious connections over the years, including “The Satanic Angels,” “The Ten Commandments,” “In the Beginning” and “David.”
In other images, any similarity between Obama and Ouazanni is far less striking.
Even Beck has tried to brush off any hidden agendas, posting that his original tweet was a joke: “Media—relax. Actor has been in similar roles b4. Funny, nothing more. For different reasons, #TheBible is 1 of my fav shows. Keep watching”
“The Bible” executive producer, Roma Downey, also released a statement saying she and fellow producer Mark Burnett made no conscious effort to cast an actor resembling the president. "Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian,” the statement reads. “False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible.”