Coincidence? ‘The Bible’s’ Devil Looks Remarkably like President Obama

Media pundits are stunned at the “surprise hit” of the History Channel’s adaptation of the world’s most popular book.

The Bible, a ten part miniseries on The History Channel, drew in 27 million viewers its first night, a respectable number for broadcast shows and astounding for a cable show.

But now there’s something new for the media reporters to chatter about: The Devil in last night’s episode. Here is a picture of the POTUS (left) and The Devil, played by Mohamen Mehdi Quazanni (right).

Even odder, Quazanni is not African American or African. How did he come to resemble Obama so closely? Here is a picture of him without makeup:

What do you think? Does The Devil look like President Obama? And do you think it looks intentional or just a strange coincidence?

Update: Producers Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and the History Channel respond, calling the controversy “utter nonsense.” Click here for full statement. 

For more on The Bible:

Peter Chattaway reviews the first episode of The Bible.

Peter Chattaway reviews the second episode of The Bible.

 Craig Detweiler on how Hollywood underestimates religious audiences

About Rebecca Cusey

Rebecca is a lead critic and editor of entertainment at Patheos. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey

  • Jada in GA

    The actor looks nothing like him, so it’s just a coincidence…But it’s funny, I must say!! :)

    • Doug

      Doesn’t that make the filmmakers MORE culpable, though? I mean, they took an actor who looks nothing like Obama, and made him look exactly like Obama. That suggests some intent, to me. As much as hiring some actor who looked like Obama in the first place.

    • BETTIE

      YOU MUST BE KIDDING, JADA IN GA … WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING FILM WITH CASTING, MAKEUP, PROPS … EVEN DOWN TO WHAT ‘SUN TAN LOTION’ THEY MAY USE. IT’S ALL TRACKED FRAME FOR FRAME. I FIND THIS BLATANT CHARACTERIZATION OF OUR “CARING AND MORAL” PRESIDENT TO BE A CRIME!!!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wakeupcall/ Tom Rapsas

    Great catch, too close not to be noticed. It definitely makes you wonder about the political leanings of the people behind the show.

  • Pat Pope

    Hopefully just a strange coincidence. I’m not sure that if I saw just the actor by himself if I would have seen the resemblance.

  • http://www.peacebang.com Victoria Weinstein

    This was obviously intentional: a tremendous amount of consideration goes into designing characters for theatre and film. The resemblance to President Obama is not coincidental and it’s amazing to think that the History Channel thought they would sneak this by America, although I’m not surprised. Images of Satan have shifted from culture to culture and century to century. The choice to give the devil black skin has a long, racist history in our country where we still mindlessly use “black” as a synonym for depression, bad and evil. In antiquity, Satan was most frequently depicted with clay red skin. I’d love to know who owns the History Channel. I bet I won’t be surprised by what I find!

    • Elaine

      The movie wasn’t made by History Channel and History Channel and it’s sister network Lifetime are both Left Wing organizations. All this garbage about them making Satan to look like the president is just the Left Wingers trying to discredit the series because of their hatred of anything faith based.

      • BETTIE

        OMG Elaine … Are you truly that misinformed or are you just kidding? Propaganda has been the tool to control the masses, since cave men days and before a written word or even sandscript characters … Media and the images that are presented to us, may be an excellent tool if you stop and use your own mind and conscience to find the truths in what you read or view … You may become a true Faith based contributor to society. At this point …

    • Elaine

      I looked it up and it is owned by A&e television networks.

  • lisa

    what a ridiculous “observation.” I watched this and it did not in any way remind me of President Obama. I am NOT an Obama supporter, and in fact dislike him very much. But I never thought of him once. Ironically, I DID think “uh-oh! this actor is obviously a minority, so making him the Devil will bring outcries of ‘racism!’” I DO NOT think there was any intention of racism or derision toward Mr. Obama, and that this is just a co-incidence.

  • Anonymous

    Mohamen Mehdi Quazanni is from the Middle East, which should be embraced by the liberals.

  • Gina

    Oh! And your cutsie, little online article has no motive other than mutual surprise??? Give me a break! That’s the trouble with this country! The media and journalists are more concerned about sensationalism instead of the TRUTH! “My people perish for a lack of knowledge” That’s Biblical! Ironically some of the most “religious” people choose their news from one of the most FALSE and FRAUDULENT news networks in the country. Do something better with your voice and time, lady!

  • Judy

    Even down to the singular outstanding mole, although in a different spot, of course. That would’ve been too obvious.

  • Elbie

    If the shoe fits.

  • Ned

    The last episode of Game of Thrones, S 1 clearly showed Pres GW Bush’s head on a pike.

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/06/14/hbos-game-thrones-parades-president-george-w-bushs-decapitated-head-on-stick/

    HBO has since edited the DVD.

  • Leslie

    The actor looks nothing like the president so for the character to resemble the president – really, looks very much like him – could not possibly be a coincidence. Judging by some of the comments here, I’d say someone achieved the goal of fanning the flames of disdain/hatred that our country suffers from so much. Anonymous – everyone in the show should be from the Middle East. That’s where all the action took place. Has nothing to do with “liberal” or “conservative” but – by all means – keep the divisiveness rolling.

  • Jane

    If this wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable…we watched this series with great interest and never ONCE thought that the Satan in the show resembled The President. We watched the show to see how our past religious beliefs were portrayed, and we watched for entertainment. WHY are there so many detractors and conspiracy theorists in this country? Why in the world would two Christians portray an obviously Christian president that way? They seem to want to offer the Bible to a large audience. Come on, people, enjoy the show, question the historical facts, but leave the theories at the door. If you need to find fault, simply don’t watch the show. Seems uncomplicated to me. As for me, I will continue to watch and enjoy the message…hope.

  • Jim Oppenheimer

    I suppose there are some similarities in appearance. It’s a made-for-TV show. People cannot take these things seriously. If the producers intended to make Satan look like someone, so what? They also made it look as if they actually think the Flood is a historical event.

    Check please….

  • Pingback: Opinion: Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are Much Too Professional to Intentionally Make Satan mimic Obama

  • Eli

    I find it funny that this writer says the actor playing Satan is not “African.” The actor is from Morocco; last I checked, Morocco is in Africa.

    Also, I do see a resemblance between the Moroccan actor WITHOUT makeup and Obama. The former has lighter skin and straighter hair. This reminds me of something a friend said about Obama years ago when he was first running for President: “He looks North African, kind of like some Moroccans I’ve seen.”

    Don’t worry. I know Obama isn’t Muslim. He’s American and a Christian.

    • Rebecca Cusey

      When I was writing my pieces, I tried to find out where he was from, and not much was then known about him, but apparently he is Moroccan. I should have been more specific and more courageous in my language, because of course, I meant “black” or even the dreaded “Negroid.” But those aren’t words we’re generally comfortable using in this setting. His appearance is much more in line with European or Middle Eastern race characteristics than African races. I think it goes to show how much of our thinking about race is defined by walls that don’t really exist except in our minds. Anyway, thanks for the comment.

  • Joshua

    I don’t see the resemblance either.

  • regular joe

    I’ve always thought the Obama nation looked like the Devil anyway.
    Since B. Huessein Obama is half northern european white and half sub-saharan bantu black, it makes sense that a North African would resemble that mixture, with the genes of white Berbers, Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans having mixed with brown Bedoins and Arabs and black slaves there for a few millenia. It seems the middle aged bigamist gettng the underage girl of another race pregnant then abandoning her isn’t an improbable love story that could only happen in America after all.
    One correction to a previous, he may be American, but he is certainly not Christian, that is clearly a calculated identity he took on for political purposes when he decided to create his identity as a black American politician thru the normal black community power structures.


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