Since Sunday’s airing of the surprise mega-hit The Bible, social media is overwhelmed with comments about a striking visual similarity between actor Mehdi Ouzaani’s portrayal of Satan and President Barack Obama. It’s not just viral speculation, either: The Bible‘s Satan looks like Obama, and not just a little bit. It would be very difficult to believe that the uncanny resemblance is a coincidence.
Right-wing commentator and radio-host Glenn Beck first pointed out the eerie similarity on Saturday, tweeting, ‘Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?
Weird Things Happened During Filming… Indeed
The first episode of The History Channel’s five-part epic The Bible aired last week with a record 13.1 million viewers. Back in January, producer Mark Burnett told Entertainment Weekly that The Bible would be the “most-watched thing” he and his wife have made. He also told EW of miracles on The Bible set, stating, “The hand of God was on this…. the edit came together perfectly, the actors came together perfectly, it just comes to life.” But that’s not all – he also told EW, “Weird things happened during filming,” he said. “Everybody would look at each other like, “Whoa.”
One has to wonder if the obviously-planned resemblance between the show’s Satan and our 44th president is one of those “weird things” that happened during filming.
“Part of what we hoped to accomplish with the series was to show the Bible is not simply a collection of unconnected stories which are often discussed and analyzed in snippets with chapter and verse numbers. Instead, we wanted to show how the Old Testament connects seamlessly to the New Testament. How they are one sweeping story with one grand, overriding message: God loves each one of us as if we were the only person in all the world to love.”
Since the original Tweets, comments about the resemblance are popping up all over social media site, and range in tone from out-and-out offensive to mild expressions of pity for the actor who portrays Satan in the epic miniseries.
Producer Says, “Nonsense.”
A response came from The Bible executive producer Mark Burnett: “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.”
Mr. Burnett’s choice in casting seems to insist Ouzaani was the most qualified actor for the job; however, Burnett conspicuously has not explicitly addressed his vision (or lack thereof) in presenting the acclaimed actor to the American public in such a role.
The History Channel also responded: “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.”