The Satanic Temple Threatens Legal Action Against Netflix's The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
The Satanic Temple is threatening to sue Netflix after The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina used a satanic statue in a recent episode.
Earlier this week, Lucien Greaves, the co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple (TST), announced that his organization was planning to take legal action against the show for using Baphomet, a winged-goat deity statue, in an episode without the temple’s permission.
Greaves also argued that the series depicted the monument in a negative and false light.
“Yes, we are taking legal action regarding #TheChillingAdventuresofSabrina appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction,” he tweeted on Sunday.
“I’m amazed that anybody is confused as to why we would seek legal remedy over Sabrina using our monument,” Greaves added in a separate tweet. “Would they be as understanding of a fictional show that used a real mosque as the HQ of a terrorist cell? A fictional Blood Libel tale implicating real world Jews?”
To give his followers a clearer visual, Greaves also tweeted a side-by-side image comparing the similar-looking statues.
In many of his replies to other Twitter users, Greaves explained that Baphomet has been copyrighted by the organization and is considered TST’s “central icon.”
Representatives for Netflix and The Satanic Temple did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The new Netflix series is based on the comic books and from Riverdale creator and Archie Comics chief Roberto Aguirre Sacasa. The coming-of-age drama, finds the beloved teenage witch (Kiernan Shipka) struggling to choose between life as a witch or life with her mortal friends as she turns 16.
The series, which is a much darker take on the character initially brought to life by Melissa Joan Hart on the ABC sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, has done well on Netflix since its Oct. 26 release date.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Greaves said the way the statue was depicted in the episode was contradictory to “what Baphomet represents” and what TST stands for.
“Given the show’s utilization of the Baphomet statue to represent an evil cannibalistic cult, a perception falsely associated with Satanism even in modern times, TST would have denied its use to the show creators,” he said to the publication. “Not only does it contradict what Baphomet represents, we owe it to those who identify with us to not allow this image, and by extension them, to be represented in this way.”
TST’s legal counsel, Stuart de Haan, echoed Greaves’ thoughts in a statement to CNN .
“The reason for this demand is that this particular imagery is unique from any other likeness of Baphomet,” he told the news outlet. “It was created by The Satanic Temple to represent its unique interests including empathy, bodily autonomy, and individual liberties.”
“The way it is portrayed in Sabrina is completely antithetical for what the Temple stands for,” de Haan continued. “It was a copyrighted image and permission was never granted or requested by any media outlet. It is undeniable that this imagery was directly taken from The Satanic Temple rather than other source material.”
In addition, de Haan also requestedthat Netflix take down any content with Baphomet referenced or seen in it in the demand letter obtained by Rolling Stone. He also asked that the company provide a reason as to why the monument was used in the first place.
Most recently, the bronze statue made an appearance at the Arkansas State Capitol during a rally in August 2018.
Representatives from the Satanic Temple put Baphomet on the grounds as a way to argue that the Ten Commandments monument — which was already standing near the Capitol at the time — should be removed.
Baphomet was later taken away by the Temple while the Ten Commandments monument was destroyed and removed, CBS News reported.
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Despite their name, the Satanic Temple does not promote a belief in a personal Satan, according to their website.
Instead, the organization encourages benevolence, empathy, common sense, and justice for all people, while rejecting tyrannical authority and symbolic “evil.”
There are currently 16 chapters of TST around the country.