UPDATE: History Channel issued a statement Monday in response to this story:
“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.”
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, executive producers of “The Bible,” added:
“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.”
“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,” Downey added.
By Tim Molloy
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – The resemblance between President Obama and an actor who plays the devil on History’s “The Bible” has drawn more than a little notice.
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Conservative commentator Glenn Beck was among the first to take to Twitter to point out the resemblance between Obama and actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouzaani. A slew of tweets and news stories ensued, many from Obama supporters who weren’t pleased.
History did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
In the miniseries, the actor resembles an older version of the U.S. president. Last year, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” came under criticism when its executive producers said in a DVD commentary that a fake head of President George W. Bush was impaled on a spike in one scene.
“The Bible” has been a huge hit for History, drawing 13.1 million for its first episode and 10.8 million for its second. It is executive produced by “Survivor” creator Mark Burnett.
Last week, one of its executive producers, Scott Sassa, resigned as Hearst’s entertainment and syndication president after what the New York Post described as a sexting scandal involving a stripper.
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