LOS ANGELES, March 18 (UPI) -- The History channel says those who saw a similarity between Satan and U.S. President Barack Obama in "The Bible" miniseries made a "false connection."
The critically acclaimed miniseries, produced by Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, has been a major hit for the cable network.
The Hollywood Reporter said Twitter users began tweeting during Sunday's episode that Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, the actor who plays Satan on the program, looks like the president.
Ouazanni has previously appeared in the religious-themed programs "David," "Jeremiah," "In the Beginning" and "The Ten Commandments."
The channel issued a statement concerning the matter Monday.
"History channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors," History said. "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."
"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 and Burnett said.
"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,'" Downey added in a separate statement.