Satanic Temple Files $50 Million Lawsuit Against Netflix For Copying Baphomet Statue
The Satanic Temple is suing Netflix for $50 million, accusing the site of ripping off their infamous Baphomet statue with two children gazing upward. A nearly identical statue appears in Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which tells a darker and more “grown-up” tale based on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Though the Satanic Temple obviously did not invent the Baphomet or its 19th century “right hand up, left hand down” (as above, so below) image, the Sabrina statue seems to be directly inspired by the Temple’s statue, first unveiled in 2015. The nine-foot tall piece has been used to critique and mock Ten Commandments monuments at the Oklahoma and Arkansas State Capital buildings.
The Satanic Temple published the following statement regarding the Netflix suit:
Netflix recently started streaming a show entitled The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a supernatural horror series dealing with various Hollywood tropes of witchcraft, devil worship and evil forces. Of note is the show’s appropriation of The Satanic Temple’s (TST) Baphomet statue to represent said Satanic Panic tropes which comes as a dismay to most TST leaders, most notably Executive Ministry, given Netflix and Warner Brother’s blatant neglect in requesting permission to use the image in this show.
The show’s creators did not utilize a generic Sabbatic goat that is commonly used in many occult circles, such as the image created by Eliphas Levi, but instead created an identical and easily identifiable replica of TST’s statue. Unlike most imagery associated with Satanism, the unique Baphomet statue designed and built for TST is copyrighted, which grants the creator exclusive rights to determine whether, and under what conditions, this original work may be used by others. When one does not actively protect their copyright material, especially by legal means, it becomes more and more difficult to establish standing as more and more egregious violations occur. This is especially important given the legal battles currently underway establishing our legitimacy and religious liberty that our Baphomet image is at the forefront of and therefore does not fall within a frivolous categorization so easily thrown around.
Years of careful and deliberate design element decisions, personal fund investments where crowdfunding fell short, and many more years of elaborating the meaning of this monument to those that would silence us has not been done for the sake of a good laugh. The cultivation of all of these efforts into a powerful symbol of religious liberty for the unjustly maligned, and symbolic of TST itself, deserves to be preserved and not allowed to fall to the whimsy of entertainment stereotypes. Due to this, permission should have been sought to use the image from the copyright holders (TST) who would determine if the usage would be done in a responsible and/or beneficial manner that would not sully the symbol’s importance to our members. Given the show’s utilization of the Baphomet statue to represent an evil cannibalistic cult, a perception falsely associated with Satanism even in modern times, TST would have denied its use to the show creators. Not only does it contradict what Baphomet represents, we owe it to those who identify with us to not allow this image, and by extension them, to be represented in this way.
Legal counsel has been consulted on the legitimacy of the case and they have agreed we have a clear claim of copyright infringement. Letters have been sent to both Netflix and Warner Brothers requesting that all renditions of the Baphomet statue be removed from their media and that they cease its use going forward.
Variety contacted Netflix, who referred comment to Warner Bros., but Warner declined to comment on the story.
The Baphomet statue was originally crowdfunded, raising over $28,000 via Indiegogo. The full statue reportedly cost about $100,000 to design and build.
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