The History Channel series "The Bible" got tongues wagging after last night's episode featured actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni as Satan, who some are saying bears a resemblance to the country's commander in chief, Barack Obama. Show producers denied any casting intentions, according to The New York Times:
"It is absolute utter nonsense," said Roma Downey, the actress who created the series with her husband, the prolific producer Mark Burnett. "This has been a phenomenal show and a phenomenal hit, and we’ve just been waiting to see what would be thrown at us in terms of trying to discredit the show. I didn’t see this coming."
However, Glenn Beck took to Twitter to draw a link between President Obama and Ouazanni's Satan:
Burnett has yet to comment on the casting, but EW.com points out the producer was a former Obama campaign donor and likens the incident to "the decapitated George Bush head that appeared during Game of Thrones‘s first season."
UPDATE: Burnett released the following statement with the History Channel:
"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."
Executive Producer, Roma Downey added, "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."
What do you think of the rumored resemblance? Do you think it was intentional? Do you think the actor looks like President Barack Obama? Sound off here.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.