Internet Chatter Runs Amok with Satan-Obama

Talk of similarities in History mini is misguided 'Bible' belt

Honest to God, I did not see that one coming.

Having reviewed six hours of “The Bible” in advance of its premiere, I was filled with all kinds of thoughts and had scribbled various notes in the margins. But never for a second did I think, “Wow, the Devil sure looks a lot like Barack Obama,” which lit up the Internet on Sunday night, and even forced the producers and History channel to issue a statement about it.

Of course, ideologically speaking, this mini-dust-up amounts to an act of friendly fire, inasmuch as it was Glenn Beck (remember him? Yeah, me neither) who implied a resemblance between the actor who played Satan (Mehdi Ouzaani) and the President. Websites like the Huffington Post picked up the item because, well, how could you resist, and in no time flat, the circus was in town.

Actually, what I remember thinking when I watched the screener was that the Devil here looked an awful lot like the Prince of Darkness as depicted in “The Passion of the Christ,” in much the way the actor playing Jesus, Diogo Morgado, resembled past depictions of him.  Frankly, the image of the Devil only struck me for its lack of imagination — which is clearly not a problem for Beck. (Granted, Obama’s most vociferous critics probably would have seen a resemblance if Satan was played by a 13-year-old Norwegian girl.)

Mostly, the fact this even warranted a response underscores just how easy it is for nonsense to go viral these days, even if it’s only for a few hours. Although at least with the story about the former President Bush’s head ending up on a spike in “Game of Thrones,” that represented a conscious act, as opposed to random Tweets from a guy almost nobody mentions anymore.

Poor “Bible” producer Mark Burnett. He dismisses TV critics who panned the show on the grounds they must be jealous, and he has to put out a response about an utterly manufactured controversy, initiated by another member of the .001%, who was actually attempting to laud the program.

Then again, we all have our crosses to bear.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Comments 2