The Satanic Temple’s threat to sue Netflix over Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s use of a copyrighted Baphomet statue at The Academy of Unseen Arts wasn’t an idle one. While the organization says that the issue isn’t the show’s misrepresentation of Satanism, but the show’s appropriation — co-founder Lucien Greaves alleges — of a monument designed and commissioned by the Temple.
This came to a head in a $50 million lawsuit claiming copyright infringement and defamation of its deity, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The suit, which names both Netflix and the show’s production company, Warner Bros., as defendants, was filed in New York federal court on Thursday. The statue design, called the “TST Baphomet with Children” in the complaint, is called a “unique expression of an idea” that was “misappropriated” by the “highly sophisticated media production and distribution companies” behind Sabrina. These companies, which the suit describes as notoriously litigious when it comes to their own intellectual property, should know better than to swipe IP from someone else.
The suit claims multiple points of originality that break with more common depictions of the deity that directly tie the show’s image with that designed by the Temple.
These similarities include, as cited in the claim, “the placement of human children on either side, forming a triangle where (a) the children are male and female, respectively; (b) the children are a young male of African descent and young girl of Anglo-Saxon descent, respectively; (c) the human children are wearing particular clothes, with the girl wearing knee length sleeveless dress with a prominent high waisted sash, and the boy wearing a sports coat, (d) the girl has straight shoulder length hair with exposed ears and the boy has close cropped hair establishing African ancestry, and (2) use of an exposed male chest, instead of exposed large voluptuous female breasts.”
Since the show also makes this the symbol of the villains — a “school associated with evil, cannibalism and murder” — it is also seeking reparations for injury to business reputation. But even money won’t fix everything for the Temple. They’re also seeking to stop any more Sabrina from being distributed or reproduced as long as it has their Baphomet included. If the judge finds in the plaintiff’s favor for their complaint, which you can view here, Sabrina might be in for a long, messy legal adventure.