The History Channel's Satan, played by actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni. / History Channel (via USA TODAY)
UPDATE: (USA TODAY) "This is utter nonsense," say exec producers Burnett and Downey in a joint statement. "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."
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 adds in a 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. History's The Bible is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history."
And Beck weighed in on Twitter on Monday afternoon saying, "Media - relax. Actor has been in similar roles b4. Funny, nothing more. For different reasons, #TheBible is 1 of my fav shows. Keep watching."
(USA TODAY) - Hot on the Web: The resemblance of the Satan character in the History Channel's "Bible" series to President Barack Obama.
Twitter erupted on Sunday night as the History Channel show was airing with comments about actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni and Obama.
Conservative Glenn Beck was among them. He sent out a screenshot and the note: "Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on HIstory Channel looks exactly like That Guy?"
Now the buzz is: Was the casting just a coincidence or is it a political statement?
The Daily News' headline is: "What the hell? Satanic-looking Obama has many questioning eerie resemblance in History Channel broadcast."
The Hollywood Reporter notes that "The Bible" series is a collaboration between Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey. Burnett has given to Democratic candidates, including Obama in 2008 and the DNC in 2009, while he also produces Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" and was behind Sarah Palin's first reality effort.
Downey, while not publicly identifying with a party, is a devout Catholic who has spoken in public about her faith quite often. She starred in the TV series "Touched By an Angel."
Producers have not commented on the likeness.