When the Satanic Temple filed a $50 million lawsuit against Netflix for its use of a goat-man statue with children in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, much of the internet was... confused, to say the least.
According to court documents, the Temple is going after Netflix for copyright infringement, trademark violation, and injury to business over its use of a statue of Baphomet. They claim Netflix “blatantly misappropriated” the Temple’s design of the goat deity in their Sabrina spin-off, and that the show is ripping off their statue to fuel “Satanic panic” — thus sullying the Temple’s good name.
But the general public seems more perplexed by this news than anything else, with several people hearing about Baphomet for the very first time and others openly wondering whether the $50 million lawsuit is the Temple's latest attempt to get publicity.
Lucien Greaves, cofounder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, shared the photo above on Twitter, saying "Yes, we are taking legal action regarding #TheChillingAdventuresofSabrina appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction."
But some aren't convinced an organization based on negging Christians is in a position to complain about others copying their iconography.
"So Satanists, who are atheists (& very religious people), stole the concepts of Satan, Church, Temple, Bible, etc., FROM the Bible (God's Word) & are now upset that supposedly people steal from them? The devil always tries to counterfeit what God has done," tweeted one person.
Another wrote, "I normally have a soft spot for the Satanic Temple, but this whole Sabrina thing confuses me. The copyright claim seems weak given that if the Baphomet design belongs to anyone it belongs to Levy or perhaps Colman Smith. Anyway — is there some context or joke I'm missing or is this really a group famed for challenging hypocrisy and sanctimony lawyering up because Netflix used an image of a thing they don't believe in and which precedes the organization by centuries?"
"They actually might have a case because the statues look extremely similar. I don't know the copyright law here. But that doesn't change that it's extremely lame for them to pretend a clear fiction has somehow damaged The Satanic Temple, an organization that exists to troll," added someone else. Someone else humorously chimed in with "Of course the Satanic Temple is filled with petty lawyers. Of COURSE they are."
Others wanted to make that the real issue is a large company profiting from the work of an artist commissioned by a small organization. To be fair, I get that — but it doesn't really make the facts of this case any less hilarious.
"Simple issue; big production company stole the work of an artist & the organization that had the art commissioned. Then used said art to further spread negative stereotypes of the org," explained one person on Twitter.
Another added, "I'd be pissed if someone stole my artwork and dropped it in a television show without permission. Makes sense to me. Comparing the statures, it's very obvious the reference was taken straight from Google images. Very sloppy work from Sabrina's production team."
No matter which side of the debate you're on, you have to admit the fact this is even happening in 2018 is worthy of a double-take.
"I find it funny how the Satanic Temple feels that a comedy Netflix show about a teenage witch is giving a bad name to Satanists," wrote one person on Twitter. Others are adding "L M A OOOOOOOOO" and citing the pettiness of the Temple's lawsuit as "the real reason people hate Satanists."
Even MAD Magazine took a stab at the headlines, tweeting out "Netflix is in trouble for using a statue of the goat deity Baphomet for their Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series. Said a Satanic Temple leader, 'They stole our copyright! That's evil! We're gonna sue Netflix. Or worship them... we haven't decided!'"
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