Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET: Casting the devil is a tricky thing; if you're not going with a caricature of a cloven-hooved man all in red with horns then you're going to have to watch what kind of face you put on the face of evil. History Channel's 10-part miniseries hit "The Bible," however, cast an actor (Mohamen Mehdi Ouazani) to play Satan that -- to some -- seems uncomfortably familiar.
"Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?" tweeted @GlennBeck on Saturday, the day before the show aired to the general public, and linked to a photo from the series of Ouazani, hooded and in character. (Beck has taken a vow not to say the name of President Barack Obama in all of 2013, and so uses "that guy" instead.)
That helped lead the charge on Twitter and beyond, as others jumped on the bandwagon to agree -- or voice strong disagreement.
The History channel released a statement Monday, saying, "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 series' executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey also made similar comments.
“This is utter nonsense. The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor," said Burnett. "He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics– including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our President.”
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.”
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