The History Channel’s highly-rated miniseries “The Bible” stirred up controversy this week when Satan made an appearance, played by Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouzaani. Many viewers took to Twitter and commented on Ouzaani’s perceived resemblence to President Barack Obama.
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck tweeted, “Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?” — with “That Guy” being Beck’s preferred term to reference Obama.
The History Channel immediately shut down Beck’s 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,” the network says in a statement.
Executive producer Mark Burnett says, “This is utter nonsense. The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics- including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our President.”
Roma Downey, also an executive producer, continues, “Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible.”
Indeed, Ouzaani has appeared in several faith-based films, notably “The Ten Commandments,” “The Satanic Angels,” “Jeremiah” and “David,” per his IMDB.
The White House has not made a comment, but Joshua Dubois, former head of the White House faith office, tweeted, “Re: Satan in #TheBible, I see way more Sith Lord than anything else. I think folks are reaching. #JustSayin.”