Earlier this month, The Satanic Temple announced that it was suing Netflix for $150 million because the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina featured a statue of Baphomet inside a school for witchcraft, in a way that suggested those who worshiped him represented an “evil cannibalistic cult.”
The show’s statue (top picture) was a dead ringer for one that Satanists have been trying to install in various public spaces (bottom picture) in response to Ten Commandments monuments going up in the same locations.
The show’s production designer insisted it was just a “coincidence” since there were other statues of Baphomet out there, but the Satanists said their statue specifically included two children looking up at him, just like in the show, and there was no mistaking a generic Baphomet (including a classic illustration of him) with their specific design.
The Satanic Temple had asked for Netflix to remove all likenesses of their statue from advertisements, the show itself, and provide an explanation as to the origins of the statue in the show.
Yesterday, The Satanic Temple announced that both sides had reached an agreement, though the specific terms were undisclosed.
The only thing we know for sure is that the credits in the already released episodes will include an acknowledgement that the statue derives from The Satanic Temple.
According to Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves:
The Satanic Temple is pleased to announce that the lawsuit it recently filed against Warner Bros. and Netflix has been amicably settled. The unique elements of the Satanic Temple’s Baphomet with Children statue have been acknowledged in the credits of episodes which have already been filmed. The remaining terms of the settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement.
A brief glance at the episodes’ credits last night didn’t show any reference to the Satanists, so I assume those are coming soon.
Greaves, however, was already to put this behind him, saying in a post, “So ends one of the most overpublicized of copyright claims. Press can now stop pretending this was unique and momentous, or even interesting.”
Well… it was interesting. It was an issue that pitted a major company against a small minority religion that felt it was being unfairly maligned via an act of copyright infringement. It involved a lawsuit asking for a grand total of $150 million in damages. It wasn’t about to create new legal precedent, but as far as lawsuits go in the world of religion, it was unusual and fascinating to cover.
I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad the Satanists feel they got whatever they wanted out of this. And while my hunch is that the Satanists didn’t get any serious money from the settlement, everyone came out of it with a huge deal of publicity (not all of it necessarily welcome).
And I hope the production designer for Sabrina learned that you can’t just Google “Satanic statue” (or whatever) and replicate whatever pops up in the results.
(Thanks to Bob for the link)