You read the headline correctly. The History Channel’s “The Bible” mini-series has come under scrutiny for its portrayal of Satan. The character has an incredible resemblance to Barack Obama. Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide.
Those of you who watched Sunday evening’s installment of “The Bible” were probably startled when Satan appeared… looking eerily similar to Barack Obama. Of course, the Internet erupted with those taking notice. As noted in Time Magazine, “the cry got so loud that History, as well as co-producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, issued denials in a press release Monday.”
BuzzFeed Politics posted the press statements on their web site:
Mark Burnett & Roma Downey: “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.”
Here’s an additional comment from Roma Downey:
“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.”
The History Channel also issued a 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.”
So… what’s going on here? The fact that this is generating news is quite interesting, and the fact that the principles of the show felt obligated to make press statements speaks volumes to the sensitivity these people have to confirm that nothing is going on.
As pointed out by Complex Pop Culture, Mark Burnett “actually donated $2,300 to the Obama campaign during the 2008 election, and then to the Democratic National Committee after Obama took office.” So, this is clearly just a funky coincidence, right? Right??
Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni is the Moroccan actor who plays Barack Obama… errr… Satan. Is there a resemblance? There’s definitely much more of one once the make-up and hood are applied. He looks like a cross between Barack Obama and Emperor Palpatine (aka… Darth Sidious).
I don’t know if there is a hidden meaning here, but it’s clear that if producers and television channels feel the need to issue statements of clarification, then they probably should have thought twice before making their Satan character look like Barack Obama.