Barack Obama, Mohamen Mehdi Ouzaani
Does President Obama have a cameo in History Channel's miniseries The Bible? Nope, but the character of Satan sure looks like him.
The Prince of Darkness is actually portrayed by Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, who bears a striking resemblance to the commander-in-chief, thanks to makeup and some digital effects. The similarity was first publicized by none other than noted Obama denouncer Glenn Beck. The commentator, who refuses to refer to the president by name, tweeted Saturday: "Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on HIstory Channel looks exactly like That Guy?"
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It's an interesting point, and one that's not totally unfounded. But is it a mere coincidence, or are the show's creators trying to imply something? The History Channel released a statement Monday dismissing the notion. "HISTORY channel has the highest respect for President Obama," the network said. "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 is produced by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, both of whom appeared on Beck's cable show earlier this year. Burnett, however, also donated to Obama's presidential campaign in 2008, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Burnett and Downey also released a statement saying they have "nothing but respect and love" for Obama, "a fellow Christian."
"This is utter nonsense," their statement reads. "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."
What do you think? Is the resemblance purely accidental, or do you think it's offensive?