‘The Bible’ Producers: Obama-Devil Link ‘Utter Nonsense’

Mark Burnett, Roma Downey deny devil is supposed to resemble the president

"The Bible" executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey say the notion that the devil in the miniseries is supposed to resemble President Obama is "utter nonsense."

The miniseries set Twitter aflame Sunday night because the actor playing the devil looks the way the president might in several years. Obama's critics jested about the resemblance, while his supporters wondered if the casting was intended as propaganda.

“This is utter nonsense," Burnett and Downey said in a statement Monday. "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.”

History, which airs the show, also said the resemblance was not intentional.

“History channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors," the network said in a statement. "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.”

Two years ago, History found itself in the midst of another political dispute when it decided not to air the miniseries "The Kennedys" because of allegations from the left that it had a right-wing slant.

And 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.

Burnett and Downey are married, and Downey, a Catholic known for her role on "Touched by an Angel," portrays Jesus' mother, the Virgin Mary, in the miniseries.

Last week, one of the executive producers of "The Bible," Scott Sassa, resigned as Hearst's entertainment and syndication president after what the New York Post described as a sexting scandal involving a stripper.

  • Nick H

    Yes, many people do not have a Life. LMAO

  • joyce

    since when does Jesus have to be a debate on white and black? He was neither but instead had the coloring of a tanned morrocan person. Besides color doesnt matter since he died for ALL our sins of all colors.

  • twoedgedsword

    “Dont try to turn this around because Simone didnt quote the EXACT words.”
    LOL! First of all, Simone did quote the exact words… just FROM THE WRONG BOOK! Ie. from a future narrative. Too funny!

    OK… so who are these “white folks” that don't read the Bible? As far as I know (being a white folk and all) Jesus had skin like a Jew since he ummm WAS a Jew. And so what of it?

    The only thing we absolutely know about Jesus’ appearance is the He was physically unattractive. All-in-all Simone, I'd say you might get over your prejudgements before asking others to get over theirs. Or perhaps better said, before chiding others to get the splinter out their eye, get the plank out of yours.

  • twoedgedsword

    I think the Sith in Star Wars I looks like more like Obama. Don't you?
    Simone – you'll be widely read as some black guy with a chip on his shoulder but you're actually a white guy with a rock on your shoulder. It cracks me up all the white guys who feign outrage and “offense” at what they perceive as racism. How transparent can you get?

  • twoedgedsword

    Bill Mahr….Martin Bashir… Charlie Rangel…

    Senator and Presidential candidate making a clear reference to Sarah Palin when he said “You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig”.

    So you don't like Palin and you think that's fine. And I can't stand thin skinned hypocrites. All is well.

    You're a Louis CK fan aren't you Gordon? Just admit it man!

  • Damien

    And now they are cutting Satan (and this actor) from the movie. Censorship of the highest order. Hey, why don't you just find an Obama look-alike to play Jesus? His followers already think he's God.

  • randyO

    Why would everything devil or Satan has to be black? If satan used to be an angel before the fall, then he supposed to look white because according to the white peoples Bible, all things heavenly is supposed to look white. This is the biggest mistake that early missionaries made when they make Jesus look pure Caucasian and the devil dark with horns and long tail. The most appalling thing is that religious leaders see this and refused to complain. And we still wonder why the world is upside down the way it is today.