Social media websites lit-up Sunday night during and after an episode in which an actor portraying Satan led many viewers to speculate if the link was intentional.
The buzz lead executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to address the issue, with both denying the accusations as “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,” said the producers in a joint statement.
Ms. 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 History channel also issues a statement saying it “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.”
Conservative political commentator Glenn Beck, in a Twitter post prior to the episode’s airing, asked if “anyone else think the Devil in The Bible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?” On Monday, he attempted to tamp down the rumor mill, tweeting; “Media — relax. Actor has been in similar roles b4. Funny, nothing more. For different reasons, TheBible is 1 of my fav shows. Keep watching.”