(RNN) – The History Channel responded Monday to casting questions for its hit show The Bible after people thought Satan looked too much like President Barack Obama.
In the statement, company officials said History had "the highest respect for President Obama."
"The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors," the statement read. "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 show's executive producers, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, released a joint statement calling the comparison "utter nonsense."
"The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouazanni, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor," they said. "He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics - including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our president."
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck was one of the first to make the connection, tweeting his thoughts March 16.
"Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?" he wrote on Twitter.
Ouazanni has appeared in several other religious-themed shows, including TV movie versions of The Ten Commandments and David.
The resemblance controversy was not the first time the two had been connected that week. According to Huffington Post's Sam Stein, a moderator at the CPAC convention yelled out "Satan" in a word-association game March 14, with several in the crowd responding "Obama."
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