On Sunday night, Glenn Beck pointed out that the character of Satan in the History channel series "The Bible" looked like President Barack Obama and people seemed to agree with him. The series began airing two weeks ago and brought it 13 million viewers in its first episode. The character of Satan appeared for the first time during last nights episode.
The person who plays Satan is Moroccan actor, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni and he looks nothing like Barack Obama in real life. The creators of the miniseries, producer-Mark Burnett and his wife-Roma Downey, are both openly pro-faith. The History channel, Burnett, and Downey have all issued statements regarding the issue, each calling claims of the resemblance ridiculous.
“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.”
Even the make-up artist for the series issued a statement. “I can guarantee that President Obama had nothing to do with it in any shape or form.”
So why did so many people take to Twitter to shout that the Satan in the series looked like our president? Well, it's not like this is the first time the comparison has been drawn. There are those on the far right who have been calling Obama the Antichrist since the beginning of his candidacy. Others have said he is a Muslim, foreigner, socialist, and who can forget the comparisons to Hitler. These comparisons however, say much more about our own prejudices and perceptions of race than they do about Obama.
The far more interesting story here is the Europeanization of the series in general, which biblical scholars have taken care to point out. The positive roles also all appear to be played by white people and the roles depicting evil characters are played by individuals with darker skin. Something tells me the History channel will probably have a lot more questions to answer before the 10-hour series is finishes up.