A number of watchers of the ongoing History Channel miniseries "The Bible" were startled to find Sunday night that an actor cast as Satan looked very much like President Barack Obama.
But the producers of the series say that the resemblance wasn't intentional.
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 17, 2013
"This is utter nonsense," executive producers of "The Bible" Mark Burnett and Roma Downey wrote in a statement provided to Whispers. They noted that Mehdi Ouzaani, the Moroccan actor who played Satan, has previously been cast in several Biblical epics before Obama was president.
Downey also suggested that there were nefarious motives behind the accusations.
"Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian," she wrote in the statement. "False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of the Bible."
It is unclear what the political inclinations of series' producers are. Burnett, who is known as the father of reality television, previously gave money to Obama in 2008, but has also been referred to by the New York Observer as the "Republicans' intellectual god" after he produced a reality series on Sarah Palin.
Roma Downey, who is married to Burnett and is best known for her work on "Touched by an Angel," has not publicly spoken about her politics.
The History Channel also defended the casting of the Satan character, saying in a statement provided to Whispers that it was "unfortunate" that "anyone made this false connection."
Also, Beck has since clarified his position:
Media – relax. Actor has been in similar roles b4. Funny, nothing more. For different reasons, #TheBible is 1 of my fav shows. Keep watching
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 18, 2013