This week’s entertainment buzz

Obama as Satan Controversy

The History Channel’s miniseries, The Bible, launched March 3rd with huge ratings (13.1 million viewers according to Entertainment Weekly). But the series has sparked a new surprising water cooler conversation that goes something like this, “Does Satan look like Obama?”

According to The Atlantic Wire, Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators seem to have played a role in fomenting this idea. During Sunday’s episode Beck reportedly tweeted:

Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?…

— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 17, 2013

A number of websites posted this photo of Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni alongside a photo of the president.

The producers of the 10-part series have been trying to squash this conversation. They are husband and wife team Mark Burnett (“Survivor” and “Celebrity Apprentice”) and Roma Downey (“Touched By An Angel“). Burnett has donated to Obama’s campaign. And Downey was quoted by Fox News saying:

“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.”

Has Kickstarter Been Co-opted by Hollywood?

Cult TV show “Veronica Mars” will be turned into a film thanks to its success on the crowdfunding site,  Kickstarter. Show creator, Rob Thomas launched the Kickstarter project to raise $2 million — it’s now raised over $3.6 million. The biggest donor gets a small speaking role in the film. 

Kickstarter has been seen as a savior of the indie film community– a place were filmmakers could turn for funding in an otherwise cold, harsh industry. But “Veronica Mars” is based on a known property with recognizable talent attached (Kristen Bell plays the lead) and some question whether the fundraising success is good for the indie filmmaker.

Documentaries like the feature Indie Game or the Oscar winning short film Inocente were more the norm– and those are the successful ones! KCRW contributor and Fast Company writer, Ari Karpel, interviewed Thomas who responded to criticism that his project is bad for independents:

“I was a filmmaker who could not get my film made through normal channels; isn’t Kickstarter a place for me as well? I will say “Veronica Mars” is bringing more people to Kickstarter than just about any other projects. Some Kickstarter projects have made more money than us but all the press has gotten more eyes on the Kickstarter website and that’s better for everyone; that’s better for the guy making a $40,000 documentary. You want the awareness of Kickstarter to become broad and universal, and I like to think we’re bringing fresh eyes to the website.”

You might be able to catch a bit of the film at Comic-Con.