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'The Bible' Producers on Satan's Likeness to Obama: People Make 'False Connection'

March 19, 2013 (1:49 am) GMT
Addressing controversy regarding the resemblance of the Devil character to the POTUS, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey say they 'have nothing but respect and love our President.'

After History Channel aired the third part of miniseries "", there was chatter online about the likeness of Satan and U.S. President Barack Obama. Among those who noticed the resemblance was TV host , who tweeted, "Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?"

Responding to the controversy, producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey quickly released a statement to clarify that any resemblance between the Devil character and the President was coincidental. "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," they explained.

Stressing that they meant no disrespect with the casting, 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."

The network additionally stated, "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 Bible" has garnered big ratings for History Channel, drawing 13.1 million viewers and scored a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 with its premiere on March 3. It becomes cable's most-watched entertainment telecast this year so far. The latest installment aired March 17 was the most-watched show between 8 P.M. and 10 P.M., with 10.8 million total viewers.

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