The Satanic Temple is suing Netflix and studio Warner Bros. over the “misappropriated” use of the statue of Baphomet featured on the streamer’s new series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” starring Kiernan Shipka as the titular half mortal, half witch teenager.
TST is claiming copyright infringement, trademark violation and injury to business reputation, asking for a total of at least $50 million in damages, according to court documents filed in New York on Thursday, obtained by TheWrap.
“Defendants misappropriated the TST Baphomet Children in ways implying that the monument stands for evil. Among other morally repugnant actions, the Sabrina Series’ evil antagonists engage in cannibalism and forced-worship of a patriarchal deity,” the lawsuit states.
TST claims the Baphomet statue is featured in four of the show’s 10 Season 1 episodes, and a “key element” in the finale. In the filing, TST says they notified the streamer and studio of their copyright violation claim last month when the show launched on Netflix, but got no response.
The statue appears on the Netflix series while Sabrina attends the Academy of Unseen Arts, a magical school that teaches the way of the Dark Lord aka the show’s version of Satan.
You can see a shot of the monument — placed inside the fictional academy — below:
Per the lawsuit, “TST seeks, among other things, a permanent injunction barring Defendants from reproducing and distributing the Sabrina Series utilizing images of the TST Baphomet with Children, and TST submits that absent the relief requested herein, Defendants will continue to willfully infringe TST’s copyright, trademark and common law rights.”
The filing comes one week after Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves took to Twitter to threaten “legal action” against Netflix for “appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction.”
Greaves said in a statement to TheWrap last Tuesday that “we’ve sent [Netflix] a letter from our lawyers informing them of the copyright violation, asking them to take our imagery out of their show.”
In an interview with SFGate published last week, Greaves said, “It’s deeply problematic to us. [But] even if that wasn’t the case we’d be obligated to make a copyright claim because that’s how copyright works.”
Warner Bros declined TheWrap’s request for comment on the pending litigation, and Netflix forwarded our request to a Warner Bros representative.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.