Glenn Beck may have been the first to ask the question, but it now has gone viral. “Does the actor playing Satan on History Channel’s Bible series look like Barack Obama? It is such a hot topic, that when I just typed in “Satan,” “Satan and Obama” were the first items that cropped up.
Readers can follow the link below and decide for themselves about that particular question. I want to address a larger question, which is, in 2013 why do movies continue to portray good people as lighter skinned, and evil characters as darker? From Lord of the Rings to this biblical series, audiences are bombarded with racist images disguised as morality struggles. So when the History Channel portrays Satan as a black man and Jesus as a blond, some people are questioning not only the Obama question, but whether the tradition of portraying a blond, blue eyed Jesus is itself a racist stereotype? After all, the guy didn’t exactly come from Sweden.
The problem with sexist and racist stereotypes is any one particular example you pull out can look weak. It’s what these images do together that makes them so powerfully hypnotic. Cultural prejudice is like walking through a mist where you never realize you are getting soaked. I seriously doubt the History Channel was intending to join the racist frenzy of Obama conspiracies, but when dramatic images are painted in traditional racist stereotypes, it can be hard to tell.
(Thanks to Lainey Rathgeber for the link)