Netflix May Face a Lawsuit From the Satanic Temple Over ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’

November 2, 2018, 9:00 PM UTC

Netflix could soon face legal action from the Satanic Temple, a religious group that claims its copyrighted design of the deity Baphomet was used without permission in the The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

In Sabrina—the streaming service’s recently released, spooky rendition of Sabrina the Teenage Witch—the statue of a large goat-headed figure appears as Satan in a handful of episodes. A statue of this figure flanked by two children appears as a centerpiece in Sabrina’s school of witchcraft, the Academy of the Unseen Arts.

According to Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson of the Satanic Temple, this statue appropriated the religion’s copyrighted monument. He tweeted the group’s intent to take legal action on Sunday.

Greaves also shared a side-by-side comparison of the Satanic Temple’s statue and the figure from Netflix’s Sabrina, showing the near-identical resemblance.

He later defended the decision to seek legal action against Netflix in another tweet, implying Netflix’s use of the statue promotes false stereotypes about the Satanic Temple.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the goat deity appears as an imposing, powerful figure that demands witches sign their allegiance to him, the Dark Lord, in exchange for their magical powers. This also requires them to do his bidding and follow the practices of the Church of Night, which includes rites of human sacrifice.

In a statement to CNN, the Satanic Temple’s legal counsel further explained the reason for legal action, adding that this representation of Baphomet is “completely antithetical” to what the religion stands for.

“The reason for this demand is that this particular imagery is unique from any other likeness of Baphomet. It was created by The Satanic Temple to represent its unique interests including empathy, bodily autonomy, and individual liberties,” Stuart de Haan, the temple’s legal counsel, wrote to CNN.

“The way it is portrayed in Sabrina is completely antithetical for what the Temple stands for,” he 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.”

The Satanic Temple’s website states its mission 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 religion does not promote belief in superstition, instead focusing on scientific understanding and reason. According to the group’s website, Satan is a symbolic figure, “an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer.”