|Satan from the History Channel's "The Bible" (left) the Commander and Chief, President of the United
States Barack Obama (right). (Photo: ohnotheydidnt)
According to The Daily Mail the Mark Burnett co-produced series cast actor Mehdi Ouzaani to play the devil in the show that attracted 13.1 million viewers on Wednesday.
Conspiracy theorist and former Fox News pundit Glenn Beck was one of the first online to tweet: 'Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?'
Some commentators suggested the incident bears comparison with the presentation of George W. Bush’s head impaled onto a spike in a season one episode of HBO's Game of Thrones. But most viewers of that show failed to notice the similarity to Bush in a quick background shot, Ouzaani's resemblance was presented direct to camera.
The Game of Thrones producers apologized immediately for the offending image, removing it from all future pressings of the show's DVDs. It remains to be seen if Burnett and Downey will do likewise.
Meanwhile it has emerged that the religious consultants on the epic miniseries are a prominent list of conservative evangelicals best known for expressing their strongly anti-gay views.
'We weren't qualified to teach the Bible, but we knew plenty of people who were,' Burnett told TV Guide. The producer's interfaith panel reportedly included pastors Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes, Bishop Michael Sheridan, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.
Both Burnett and Downey believe this was a series they were called to create. Burnett reportedly told Entertainment Weekly that the series' success seemed almost preordained while it was being made.
'The hand of God was on this,' he said during an interview. 'The edit came together perfectly, the actors came together perfectly, it just comes to life.'