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the bible imageHistory Channel and Executive Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have fired back regarding comments from viewers of the mini-series The Bible, who took to Twitter to comment that the actor playing Satan, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, resembles President Barack Obama.

“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,” said Burnett and Downey in a joint statement.

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.” Meanwhile, the network offered the following statement: “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.

According to Nielsen, the first two Sundays leading up to Easter drew in some 12 million viewers, making it the top-rated cable program of the night. Horizon media, meanwhile, said some 50 million viewers tuned in to at least some portion of the program over the first three weekends of its run.

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