By James Hibberd
Updated March 18, 2013 at 05:34 PM EDT

The Bible

  • Book

The network and producers behind The Bible miniseries are denying any intentional resemblance between The Devil and President Obama in Sunday night’s episode.

History Channel and executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey issued a flurry of statements strongly asserting that the actor cast as Satan in the popular cable miniseries wasn’t supposed to look like Obama. Last night fans took to social media to point out the resemblance, prompting headlines.

“History channel has the highest respect for President Obama,” the network said. “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.”

The producers said, “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.”

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 Bible, History Channel’s 10-hour miniseries, has drawn record viewership with 13.1 million tuning in to the premiere on March 3. Part 4 airs this Sunday at 8 p.m.

Read more:

‘The Bible’ begets record ratings

EW’s 10 Best Bible Movies of All Time

Episode Recaps

The Bible

  • Book