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Netflix Being Sued By Satanic Temple For Copyright Infringement

(PC: Rolling Stone)

(PC: Rolling Stone)

Raymond Rosales

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Netflix recently released The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a reboot of the 90’s show Sabrina the Teenage Witch with a dark twist. It has been receiving lots of praise, but it seems that not everyone is bewitched. The Satanic Temple (TST) is filing a lawsuit against Netflix for the use of a statue that they say bears a striking resemblance to theirs.

This was confirmed on Twitter by Lucien Greaves, spokesman and co-founder of the Satanic Temple. “Yes, we are taking legal action regarding #TheChillingAdventuresofSabrina appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction,” he tweeted on October 28, a mere two days after the first episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina debuted.

Following that, he recently stated in a blog post, “We are claiming copyright infringement for their use of our unique Baphomet monument design in their show as a central icon for a cannibalistic cult.” Baphomet, also known as the Sabbatic Goat, is a deity with the appearance of a goat-headed man, commonly attributed to satanism or paganism. They have clarified that they are not looking for any monetary compensation, and simply wish that the statue be removed from the show entirely.

The Satanic Temple, as it turns out, doesn’t worship Satan, Baphomet, or any other deity, be it Semitic or Pagan. “The mission of The Satanic Temple,” says their website, “is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.”

The reason they call themselves Satanists is because they use Satan as a representation for pragmaticism and rebelling against social norms, which they regularly preach and practice. One of their most recent publicity stunts was to put a statue of Baphomet in the Oklahoma State Capitol within the vicinity of their Ten Commandments Monument. This statue bore their copyrighted design of Baphomet; the Sabbatic Goat sitting cross-legged and holding up his right index and middle fingers while two children, one at each side, look up at him. This was also the same design that the statue in the show has.

The Satanic Temple isn’t claiming to have been the origin of Baphomet, but rather the origin of this specific design of Baphomet. Greaves explains that he doesn’t want an icon of theirs to represent a cannibalistic cult in a popular Netflix program, as it would propagate the concept of Baphomet representing the occult, while the Satanic Temple would argue otherwise. The statue in the show may also cause viewers to believe that The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was the origin of the design instead of the Satanic Temple.

This begs the question; is it justifiable for the Satanic Temple to sue Netflix over the statue’s appearance? Sophomores Andrew Goldberg and Min ha Cho both shared the same sentiments. Since the design is copyrighted, the Satanic Temple have a right to sue since Netflix didn’t get permission to use it. And even if they did get permission, the Satanic Temple felt that Netflix was misrepresenting them through the use of the design, so Netflix would have to remove it anyway. This was a rather massive oversight by the production crew of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. After all, they should know the devil’s in the details.

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