Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina isn’t like the Sabrina you know and love. It’s incredibly dark, and full of references to Satanic rituals and beliefs. It’s got cannibalism, murder, blood rituals, zombies, demons, and even Satan himself.
I expected complaints from parents who wanted to share their love of Sabrina with their kids; what I didn’t expect was complaints from actual Satanists on the grounds of copyright infringement.
Lucien Greaves, cofounder of The Satanic Temple, took to Twitter on Monday to air his grievances over the usage of a statue in the Netflix series.
This is the statue of Baphomet as seen in the show:
And this is the Temple’s statue:
As you can see, they are pretty similar.
But this is a 19th-century illustration of a Sabbatic Goat by occult author Éliphas Lévi:
Both the statue in Sabrina and the Satanic Temple’s statue look incredibly similar to Lévi’s illustration, don’t they?
The Satanists’ statue is relatively new; it was unveiled in 2015. Meanwhile, Lévi’s illustration dates back to the 1850s, and was the source of later depictions of Baphomet, including those found in decks of tarot cards, and, presumably, the Satanic Temple’s own statue.
Greaves told The Wrap that his lawyers have asked Netflix to remove the statue from the show (how? it’s a physical prop in the background of many shots), and he told SFGate that he’s moving forward with the copyright claim because he wants to “send some message” to anyone else who might try and appropriate the statue, “because that’s how copyright works.”
I’m not a copyright lawyer, but this seems like a pretty blatant attempt to piggyback on the success of the reboot. And it’s worked, hasn’t it? We’re covering the issue because it’s so ludicrous. So I guess that’s Satanists, 1, the rest of us, 0.
Greaves then went on to compare this issue to Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, both of which are real problems, unlike anti-Satanism.
Considering the statue was created solely to protest the placing of a statue of the Ten Commandments outside the Oklahoma state capitol, I don’t think it’s anything like depicting terrorists using a mosque as their headquarters, or implicating Jewish people in a story about blood libel. Those have real-world consequences. This doesn’t.
The Satanic Temple itself is only six years old, so one could argue that their usage of Satanic imagery that predates the establishment of their group might be considered copyright infringement. I’m not saying anyone should, just that they could, since it makes about as much sense as this does.