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Netflix, Warner Bros. sued by Satanic Temple over use of Baphomet statue in 'Sabrina'  9 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

The Satanic Temple is raising hell over a new Netflix series.

At issue is a statue of the goat-headed deity Baphomet that appears in the TV series "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," released Oct. 26 by Netflix.

The Salem, Massachusetts-based church charges Netflix and Warner Bros., which produced the TV series, are violating the copyright and trademark of The Satanic Temple's Baphomet statue, which it built several years ago.

Historically, the androgynous deity has been depicted with a goat’s head on a female body, but The Satanic Temple created this statue with Baphomet having a male chest. Called Baphomet With Children, the statue has gathered attention because the Temple originally built it to donate to Oklahoma City to be near another donated statue about the Ten Commandments.

"Importantly, these original expressions are misappropriated through use of an obvious copy which is featured prominently throughout the Sabrina Series and the central focal point of the school in the Sabrina Series which represents evil antagonists," the Temple charges in a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The Temple is seeking damages of at least $50 million for copyright infringement, trademark violation and injury to business reputation. In the "Sabrina" storyline, the use of the statue "as the central focal point of the school associated with evil, cannibalism and possibly murder is injurious to TST’s business," the Temple says in its suit.

In the TV series, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) must decide whether to join the Church of Night, the devil-worshipping religion to which her family belongs and sign her name in the Dark Lord's Book, essentially giving away her free will.

The statue appears in at least four of the series' 10 episodes, the Temple says in the complaint. "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 Plaintiff’s unique expression of an idea even though they have a long history of vigorously protecting their own intellectual property," the suit says.

Netflix referred request for comment to Warner Bros., which declined to comment on the suit.

The Temple had threatened legal action last week with cofounder and spokesperson Lucien Graves tweeting on Oct. 30, "Yes, we are taking legal action regarding #TheChillingAdventuresofSabrina appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction."

Soon after, he tweeted a comparison of the statues – the Temple's statue is on the top – should you not be familiar with Baphomet.

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