The Satanic Temple has sued Netflix over The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, accusing the series of knocking off their statue of Baphomet to push a stereotypical “Satanic Panic”.
Back on October 29, co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves tweeted confirmation that his temple were going to take legal acting against the rebooted Sabrina series.
Yes, we are taking legal action regarding #TheChillingAdventuresofSabrina appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction.
— Lucien Greaves (@LucienGreaves) October 29, 2018
The statue first appears in episode two in the Academy of Unseen Arts, where young witches and warlocks go to study. It’s a prominent figure in the series, particularly as Sabrina Spellman attempts to understand the dark arts.
According to Variety, The Satanic Temple is filing a US $50 million copyright suit which equates to about AU $69 million.
As per the suit, the statue was created in 2013 and 2014 and, according to Greaves, cost US $100,000 to design and build. The suit claims that there are multiple features of the statue that make it an “original expression” and so subject to copyright.
A point of comparison that Greaves has highlighted is how the statue on Sabrina has two children – a boy and girl on either side – staring up at Baphomet, just like their statue.
For a visual, Greaves uploaded a side-by-side image of both statues to his Twitter account.
For purposes of comparison… pic.twitter.com/AZJvmq1Cks
— Lucien Greaves (@LucienGreaves) October 30, 2018
In an interview with VICE before Greaves tweeted legal action, CAOS production designer Lisa Soper claimed the similarities between the two statues were “kind of a coincidence”.
“…there’s hundreds and hundreds of iterations of him, he’s always seen with his people around him and it’s more of like a father figure kind of thing. So depicting his children with him, that kind of stuff, and those kinds of elements are all kind of the same.”
Greaves told Teen Vogue in a statement that the temple found it “unacceptable” to have their statue used in “another ignorant television portrayal of a Satanic Panic-style”.
“It is another thing that they’ve used our unique and copyrighted Baphomet monument as the central icon of that cult. We spent a year and a half designing and financing our monument, which has become a central image of our own organisation. To see it appropriated as ‘the Sabrina monument’ while associated with cannibalistic rites is unacceptable. We owe it to everybody who identifies with us to rectify this situation. Netflix needs to remove the image of our monument from their show and they are not to use it in future seasons.”
As Variety reports, Netflix referred comment to Warner Bros., who did not comment.