The Satanic Temple made good on its threat to sue Netflix and Warner Bros. on Thursday, filing a $50 million copyright suit accusing them of ripping off the temple’s statue of Baphomet to fuel “Satanic panic” in the Netflix series “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
The Satanic Temple is best known for making life difficult for governments that allow religious displays on public property. The temple has sought to place its Baphomet statue alongside a representation of the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma Capitol, and is now engaged in similar litigation against the State of Arkansas.
The temple has gained a certain amount of publicity for those efforts, and now alleges that the producers of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” are profiting from its work. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York, alleges that four episodes of the show feature a Baphomet statue that bears a striking resemblance to the one created by the temple.
According to the suit, the temple created its statue in 2013 and 2014, basing it on iconography dating to the 19th century. The suit alleges that the statue contains several elements that make it an “original expression,” and subject to copyright. The statue features two children looking up in awe at a goat-headed man-beast. The temple says the statue cost about $100,000 to design and build.
The statue that appears on the Netflix show also features two children looking up reverently at the goat-man. The statue first appears in the second episode of the show, as the focal point of the Witches Academy — the antagonists of the show. The temple alleges that its copyrighted artwork has been hijacked in service of a stereotypically evil representation.
Netflix referred comment to Warner Bros., which declined to comment.