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March 18th, 2013
01:59 PM ET

Producer: Claim of Obama-Satan likeness nonsense

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – The third episode of the History Channel's miniseries “The Bible” was supposed to be remembered for the brutality of Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar, the strength of Daniel in the lion’s den, and the birth of Jesus Christ.

But after viewers claimed there was a striking resemblance between Satan’s human form and President Barack Obama, that probably won't be the case.

Buzz on Twitter quickly grew. According to Topsy.com on Monday, there were an estimated 20,000 tweets containing the words “Obama” and “Satan” since the 9:00 p.m. ET hour on Sunday, the hour in which Satan appears in the two-hour show.

In a statement, miniseries producer Mark Burnett called claims there was a resemblance "utter nonsense."

Burnett said the actor who played Satan, Mohamen 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."

Ouazanni has had roles in two biblical TV movies - "Jeremiah" and "The Ten Commandments."

Executive producer of the miniseries Roma Downey, Burnett's wife, 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."

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Satan appears during the miniseries’ retelling of the Temptation of Christ, when Jesus fasted for 40 days in the Judean Desert. Satan tests Jesus’ faith, asking him to make bread out of stone and jump from a cliff, but he refuses each temptation and returns to the Sea of Galilee to begin his ministry.

In the desert, Satan is draped in a long, black, hooded robe and with a slight silver tint to his face.

Both Downey and Burnett supported Obama's first campaign for president in 2008, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Downey gave $5,000 to the Obama Victory Fund and $2,700 to the Democratic National Committee in 2008. Burnett also donated to Obama's first campaign - $2,300 in 2007.

Neither gave money to Obama's 2012 campaign.

While the show was airing, tweets poured in noting the resemblance.

[tweet https://twitter.com/glennbeck/status/313120671297306624%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/lkspringer/status/313470968448315392%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/DanAmira/status/313491508391182336%5D

Not everyone on Twitter agreed, though.

[tweet https://twitter.com/joshuadubois/status/313489150118608896%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/jbouie/status/313498892148830208%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/scottgrimm1/status/313652372561858560%5D

After three episodes, the show has scored strong ratings. Its first episode drew 13.1 million viewers, ratings that trumped CBS’s “60 Minutes” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The second episode drew 10.8 million viewers.

Ratings for the third installment in the five-week miniseries have not been released.

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The project has been a three-and-a-half year process for The History Channel and for Burnett and Downey. Burnett - who is better known as a king of reality television, with “Survivor,” “The Voice” and “The Apprentice” all under his name - told CNN earlier this month that this project was “personal.”

“It was time for an updating, adding fresh visual life to a sacred text,” Burnett said.

Both Downey and Burnett were raised Catholic, Burnett in England and Downey in Ireland. They still regularly attend Mass in Los Angeles. Growing up, both watched the classic biblical films that the Hollywood of yesteryear churned out, like “The Ten Commandments” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

To film their Bible series, the duo set off for the southern tip of Morocco with a crew of around 400 people.
CNN Belief: Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome

Burnett and Downey consulted a wide range of pastors and academics, including a major evangelical leader and a Catholic cardinal.

Their advisory panel consisted of many people from varied backgrounds familiar with sharing the stories of the Bible, rather than a who’s who of biblical academics.

Joel Osteen, a popular television preacher and pastor of the 30,000-member Lakewood church in Houston, was among those consulted. Osteen and Burnett are friends and were developing a television series together that went on the back burner during the production of this series. Osteen even took his family to Morocco during some of the filming.

While the History Channel owns the exclusive North American rights to the project, Burnett and Downey own the rights to global distribution and theatrical airings, which are in the works. The project also has a book tie-in, games and apps.

- CNN’s Eric Marrapodi and Eric Weisbrod contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Bible

soundoff (2,474 Responses)
  1. abbs

    Illuminati Satanists believe that a carefully planned event must be carried out according to the correct occult numerology or else it may not be successful. They go to great lengths to make an event occur according to the correct date and numbers. Occultists place much faith in the inherent power of number, they can discretely incorporate their secretive numbers in dates and company logos.

    Obama is 44th president of the United States of America and the word "Beast" is mentioned in its singular form 44 times in the book of Revelations. We can now see where this is all coming from and leading to.

    "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six". Revelation 13:3

    A=1 B=2 C=3 D=4 E=5 F=6 G=7 H=8 I=9 J=10 K=11 L=12 M= 13 N=14 O=15 P=16 Q=17 R=18 S=19 T=20 U=21 V=22 W=23 X=24 Y=25 Z=26.

    Barack: 2+1+18+1+3+11=36
    Hussein: 8+21+19+19+5+9+14=95
    Obama: 15+2+1+13+1=32
    Add these: 36+95+32=163.
    Multiply by the Beast: 163 x 666 = 108,558.
    Split and Add: 108 + 558 = 666.

    Barack Obama Born 4 August 1961 the 216th day of the year. 216= 6x6x6.

    Take note of the SEVERE occult numerology preprogrammed by illuminati satanists into the up and coming visit of Obama to the Temple Mount Jerusalem. 3.22/13 ties in EXACTLY with the 33rd aniversary of the Georgia Guide stones known as the "DEVILS 10 Commandments" a benchmark for the NEW WORLD ORDER. Their aim is a Global population cull to 500,000,000. Jesus was 33 when he was crucified. We could quite possibly see Antichrist mimic this.

    "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast" Revelation 13vs3,.

    Friday 22 March 2013 = 3.22/13 (US Format) = 3.22/2013 = 3+2+2+2+0+1+3 = 13.

    Barack Obama will be present in Jerusalem on 3.22 "Skull & Bones" + 13. "Skull & Bones" = 666 and 13 = Death.

    Vatican Elected the pope on 13/3/13 = 13/03/2013= 1+3+0+3+2+0+1+3.=13

    March 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • snowboarder

      thank you mr camping.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • I Am God

      Yeah that could have been a great conspiracy theory if it weren't for the fact that the Illuminati didn't really believe in God and were more Agnostic. This load of crapola is just that. A bunch of crap.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • FU_CK_Jesus

      PROOF... Now do the tooth fairy.

      You would have been used better if for stem cell research.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • AB

      I ate Chinese for lunch. Turns out I am caring and will make friends soon.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Saving the earth,one pithy comment at a time

      Time for your meds Randal..

      March 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • End Religion

      Poor austin, so schizophrenic.... crash your truck into any schools lately?

      March 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  2. hal

    Obama as Satan!? That's not much of a stretch! Satan looks kinder!

    March 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  3. ARob

    Only an ignorant goon would say there's a resemblance. Someone like Peter Griffin. Or Glenn Beck.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • hooty

      all black people look the same to beck.

      March 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  4. JD in Pa

    The actor playing Satan looks like the golden voiced hobo that I last saw on dr phil.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  5. Danny

    I still think he looks more like the monkey from Dunstin Checks In

    March 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  6. FU_CK_Jesus

    I love jesus.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  7. Mike

    I think he looks more like Spock ..

    March 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  8. Science

    hey has anybody noticed something funky going on............................ on this forum Fredie ?

    March 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  9. nb123

    He IS Satan...

    March 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • I Am God

      And you are what people call the False Prophet.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  10. snowboarder

    more fiction from the history channel. hmmm.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • ImIrish

      Fiction?! What fiction?! I love fiction!

      However, this is about the Bible and Jesus. Please stay on point!

      March 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • snowboarder

      imirish, yes it is about the bible. a collection of myths and legends. nothing more.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  11. Marita

    The Bible is one fabulous story, the emphasis being on 'Story' ! Whoever wrote it, was extremely talented & imaginative. As were the writers, who were editing it + adding to it over the centuries. To me, the word 'God' means that there is a higher Power, which I believe in. I believe, there is Good + Evil + that nobody's Soul ever dies. Everything is an endless circle, as is the Universe itself. We create our own Heaven + Hell. And we experience the consequences based on our actions right here + right now! – @Marita.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • snowboarder

      marita, there is no legitimate reason to believe any of what you said to be true.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  12. JJ

    Why do you even give any coverage to morons like this?

    March 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  13. AB

    The fundamental problem with racist quietism is the idea of black and white, no shades of grey. No room for complexity. Just fat or empty. That is why it is a fair statement to tell racists to kill themselves. That is their essence, that is where they have arrived intellectually and I say good riddance.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  14. Sly

    Our guy kicked your guys azz's, and now all you have to do is whine and call our President names.

    Yes, we know y'all hate white men with black blood kicking your asz. Get used to it. We'll be kickin' y'all's buttz in 2016 and 2020 also. As noted today, your party is fat, white and racist. And that was the REPUBLICANS speaking!.

    So yes, I like Satan. I like the Devil. The President is MY President, and I'm proud of him and America for electing him. If He is also Satan, cool, who cares – my 401k is up, military spending increases have been cut, our Satan killed Bin Laden, the stock market is on fire! Maybe it was time to give up on all them old fat white men – America needed a little colour apparently!

    March 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  15. jake

    I can't believe the stupidity of the person who wrote this article. You should be fired immediately.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • NooYawkah

      I can't believe the stupidity of the guy who commented just above you.

      March 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  16. dotheflippin'math

    Jesus, Satan, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, and intelligent Tea Party members....all myths. Sorry, but some of us just aren't gullible.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Hot Arrogance Ace

      Hot damn!

      March 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • nb123

      The "head in the sand" democrats

      March 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  17. Danny

    obama is trash so are his worthless followers

    March 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You must be extremely intelligent!

      March 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • I Am God

      The only trash around here are fools like you trying to pick a fight online.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • sam

      I think you meant 'Bama'.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      What do you think Obama has done qualify as trash? Be elected POTUS – twice. I doubt that you know much more than that. Please enlighten us.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • bobby blue

      Suck it

      March 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  18. Mike

    Remember when the history channel used to be about history instead of religion, big foot, aliens, dumb hillbillies, and the south?

    March 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • sam

      I miss those days. Pretty much the only history they show now always involves nazis.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • nuclear mike

      Hmmmm...the North was too boring so everyone tuned out, changed channels, went outside to twist their antenna or got more aluminum for the bunny ears...y'all stay tuned as the South is dominating this poor worn out USA, until we get our country back...

      March 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  19. David

    When Obama got the nominee four years ago, his Lousiana state's lotto numbers the next day were 666. A man unqualified for the job. Foreign born. It's all there. He fooled thy people big time.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • sam

      God, I thought we'd already heard from every tin-hat wearing douchebag today, but here YOU are.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Ctexas

      Well... You'll never fool anybody.

      March 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • I Am God

      Foolish troll. A roulette wheel numbers all add up to 666 to but that has been around for almost a century. You going to claim its a sign that Obama is Satan too?

      March 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  20. ed dugan

    The entire series on a book that contains a few historical facts completely surround by BS is only for people who can't think for themselves. Does Obama look like some mythical character that only religious con artists like Billy Graham and his ilk believe in? I always thought the devil might look like some gorgeous blonde.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.