Reminiscent of the controversy over George W. Bush’s severed head making a Game Of Thrones cameo, as well as the most sloppily kerned placard at the protest rally, Barack Obama is Satan on the History Channel’s popular miniseries The Bible. Or at least, that’s the consensus reached by people on Twitter who were probably already predisposed to make such a connection—people such as Glenn Beck, who used his famed powers of deduction to note what he saw as a resemblance between the drama’s Satan, actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, and “That Guy,” Beck’s diamonds-daisies-and-snowflakes sobriquet for Barack Obama. Beck’s observation and the subsequent storm of retweets has, predictably, stirred up a certain faction on the Internet that’s been waiting for this, their one chance to compare Obama to a figure of infinite evil, just this one time.
Like the Game Of Thrones incident, both The History Channel and The Bible’s producers, Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey, are expected to be forced to comment soon, and explain that the resemblance was unintentional in such a way that will satisfy no one. The Hollywood Reporter notes that, while Burnett has donated to Democratic candidates (including Obama) in the past, he’s also a producer of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice—a connection that, obviously, means he must be part of Trump’s secret midnight league of shadow strategists, regularly convening to devise just these sorts of ingenious methods of stoking fear and prejudice among conservative fundamentalists. Meanwhile, The History Channel is expected to point out that the network does not air material pertaining to facts or actual people.
UPDATE: As expected, both The History Channel and The Bible's producers have responded with statements regarding today's news. In a press release sent with the subject line, "Statement regarding today's news," the network says, "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."
More pointed and less self-promoting, Burnett chimes in, "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." And finally, Downey adds, "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." Indeed, shame on anyone who would make the leap of faith to buy into fallacies and dogma, rather than believing in the Bible.