(LOS ANGELES) — Creators of the History channel’s The Bible on Monday rejected suggestions that the character of Satan in the popular mini-series resembles President Obama.
“This is utter nonsense,” producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett said in a statement. “The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouazanni, 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.”
The History channel said any claims of a resemblance are “false.”
“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,” the network said.
The 10-hour series, produced by Downey and Burnett, who also produced Survivor, began airing March 3 and will conclude on March 31. The series has been pulling in strong ratings, with the premiere viewed by 13.1 million.
Sunday night’s reveal of Satan led many viewers to take to social media to express their surprise with the casting choice.
The White House did not immediately respond to ABC News when reached for comment.
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Kait Richmond, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Chandrika Narayan, CNN