Friday, November 09, 2018

Satanic Temple Sues Netflix Over Wrongful Use Of Bahomet Statue

Yesterday The Satanic Temple filed suit in a New York federal district court against Netflix and Warner Brothers, seeking $50 million in damages.  The complaint (full text) in United Federation of Churches LLC v. Netflix, Inc., (SD NY, filed 11/8/2018), alleges that defendants wrongfully used the image of a statue belonging to the Satanic Temple in its television series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The Satanic Temple alleges that it spent $100,000 to develop the statue, Baphomet with Children, which is a modification of the historical deity Baphomet:
Baphomet historically involved a goat’s head ... on a female body associated with Lilith, a figure from Jewish mysticism sometimes considered a goddess of the night. The classic visual representation of idea of Baphomet is an image created in or about 1856 by an occult historian Eliphas Levi.... 
[T]he TST Baphomet with Children, consists of several modifications from the historic expressions of the deity....
The Sabrina Series’ evil antagonists stand in stark contrast to TST’s tenets and beliefs.... By misappropriating TST Baphomet with Children (which is a registered copyright and famous mark of TST) to publish this false and defamatory depiction of TST, Defendants have engaged in three classes of wrong: copyright infringement (Claim 1), trademark violation (Claim 2), and injury to business reputation (Claim 3).
In addition to damages, plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring defendants to digitally remove the statue from all future distributions of the TV program. Courthouse News and Reuters report on the lawsuit. [Thanks To Tom Rutledge for the lead.]

UPDATE: According to a Nov. 21 post by Lucien Greaves, the suit has been amicably settled, with the unique elements of the Satanic Temple’s Baphomet statue acknowledged in credits of episodes already filmed.