Satanists Sue Netflix, Warner Bros. For $150M, Saying Sabrina Copied Their Statue

Satanists Sue Netflix, Warner Bros. For $150M, Saying \Sabrina\ Copied Their Statue
The Satanic Temple sues Netflix for $150 million for using a statue of a demon god in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
At the center of the controversy is Baphomet, described in the court documents as “an androgynous goat-headed deity.” A statue of the satanic god surrounded by children is featured in the Netflix series “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

However, the lawsuit claims the shows statue is similar to its real-life Baphomet monument, which was made famous by an Indiegogo campaign in 2014. Although it was intended to be installed next to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma State Capitol, it now resides in Detroit after multiple protests. The Baphomet statue has since become “a central icon that has come to represent us [satanists] as a people,” explained The Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves.

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“To have that all at once entirely eclipsed by some Netflix show by a production department who did a Google Image Search… A lot of people who havent heard of us first stand to just recognize that monument as the Sabrina monument, which dilutes and denigrates the entire project,” he said.

Just like the first season there’ll be ten Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 episodes to sink your teeth into once the second season finally hits Netflix. While this is generally a lot less than most American TV shows – not to mention Netflix’s own slightly bloated Marvel series – fans will no doubt be pleased with the number of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 episodes, not least, because the first season was so well balanced. What the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 episodes will be called will also give us some hints as to what to expect from the second season, but, knowing this, it will be a while before Netflix clues us in on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 episode titles.

Because the statue is featured prominently in the show, The Satanic Temple claims its members are being associated with the “evil antagonists” depicted in the series. The characters of the show, who worship the “Dark Lord” or Satan, engage in cannibalism, necromancy, murder and torture, among other nefarious activities.

The Satanic Temple, on the other hand, “does not promote evil and instead holds to the basic principle that undue suffering is bad, and that which reduces suffering is good,” the organization claims. It hails Satan as a “rebel against Gods authority, rather than an evil being.”

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The religious group reached out to Netflix and Warner Bros. to remove the depiction when it became aware of the statue in the series, but its request went unanswered.

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Satanists sue Netflix and Warner Bros for £38m over statue in Sabrina TV show

“It does really kind of normalize this notion that the only true meaning of this type of religious identification is one that can be associated with a patriarchal, cannibalistic cult,” Greaves said. “Were so inundated with this anti-Satan fiction that a lot of people think its superfluous to pursue to a claim like this at all.”

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Legal documents state: What makes this case particularly striking and significant is that it arises in the context of Defendants who are highly sophisticated media production and distribution companies which blatantly misappropriated Plaintiffs unique expression of an idea even though they have a long history of vigorously protecting their own intellectual property.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a series produced by Warner Bros., follows Sabrina Spellman as she attends The Academy of Unseen Arts. At the school is a statue of Baphomet.

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina is a supernatural drama programme starring US actress Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman, a half-mortal half-witch who is torn between her two identities.

"Baphomet is a historical deity which has a complex history, having been associated with accusations of devil worship against the Knight Templar," explains The Satanic Temple in its complaint filed in New York federal court. "Baphomet historically involved a goat’s head (sometimes known as the 'Sabbatic Goat') on a female body associated with Lilith, a figure from Jewish mysticism sometimes considered a goddess of the night. The classic visual representation of idea of Baphomet is an image created in or about 1856 by an occult historian Eliphas Levi…"

The lawsuit, filed at a federal court in New York on Thursday, claims the depiction of Baphomet constitutes misappropriation, confusion of origin and injury of reputation.

Its version of Baphomet, to quote one random website cited in the complaint, is the "most politically charged sculpture of our time," perhaps meaning that this case can't be divorced from politics after all.

“Maybe that’s because gay characters pop up in just about every product out of Hollywood. Men dress as women, give lap dances to other men and even get married in national awards shows like the Grammys and Tony Awards,” she wrote. “Media festivals like South by Southwest and Sundance celebrate gay sex and all other kinds of relationships as completely normal. TV shows like 'Modern Family,' 'The New Normal' and 'The Fosters' attempt to show that gay families are just as common and normal as any other family.”

Perhaps ironically, The Satanic Temple states it designed and commissioned its Baphomet "to be a central part of its efforts to promote First Amendment values of separation of church and state and equal protection," adding that the Netflix series' "prominent use of this symbol as the central focal point of the school associated with evil, cannibalism and murder blurs and tarnishes the TST Baphomet with Children as a mark of TST."

“The dark, occult-ish elements in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ provide reason enough for parents to keep their children, including teens, far away from this show,” Sprigg told Fox News. “The show has gone over the top in depicting an actual orgy on screen, and if they think having the teen participants keep their underwear on makes it all right, the writers and producers need to think again. This content is not appropriate for anyone, but especially not for the teen audience it targets.”

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The Satanic Temple wants more than money. The church also requests an order enjoining Netflix and Warner Bros. from any future reproduction or distribution of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina with its Baphomet. 

Older parents might remember the Sabrina the teenage witch character of the Archie comic books in the 1960s. She was a blonde, girl-next-door type who just happened to be able to cast spells and do a little magic. (In earlier adaptations, Sabrina's abilities were “typically depicted as being morally-neutral, like double-jointed knees,” Paul Asay wrote at PluggedIn.)


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