Mediaite reported on March 18 that Mark Burnett’s ‘The Bible’ on the History Channel has come under fire after Sunday’s episode. The character of Satan made his first appearance in the factually challenged miniseries, and surprisingly a Moroccan actor was cast in the role that looks remarkably like an older version of President Barack Obama.
This type of stunt is exactly what executive producer Mark Burnett is known for. The king of mindless reality television first shot to fame in the United States after he created “Survivor” for CBS. The success of that program led to the onslaught of cheaply produced reality shows that currently plague the airwaves. Burnett is a born again Christian.
History Channel has issued a statement saying, "History Channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It’s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection.”
“The Bible” has drawn a steady stream of criticism since its debut a few weeks ago.
Mark Burnett chose to use a who’s who group of the leading anti-gay evangelical leaders to check the program for historical accuracy. Gay rights groups have rightfully complained that religious leaders who regularly pervert the teachings of the bible should not be vetting any program on the best-selling book. This panel included controversial Pastor Rick Warren who is best known for his meddling in Ugandan politics. He used donations to his church to support that country’s “Kill the Gays” bill.
Critics have also noted that the program is full of biblical inaccuracies. To appeal to the largest audience possible Burnett chose to just cut out key details in most of the stories told so far. These left out details have generally been sexist ones, such as dropping a scene from the book where a man offers his innocent teen daughter to be raped.
Another major criticism is the miniseries' choice to portray Jesus as a Caucasian male with long brown hair. If Jesus existed in the ancient Middle East he would have looked more like Osama Bin Laden than a hippie.
“The Bible” will continue to air Sundays on the History Channel.