It seems that even demons are subjected to the humdrum of copyright laws. According to The Satanic Temple, the recent Netflix show “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” – the reboot of the 1990’s “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” starring Melissa Joan Hart – completely ripped off the infamous Baphomet statue that the Temple has been fighting to install at the Arkansas State Capitol in protest of the 10 Commandments monument.
Vice Broadly reports that on Sunday evening, The Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves tweeted that the organization would be “taking legal action” against the Netflix show for “appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction.”
In fairness to the Temple, the resemblance between the Baphomet statue in the show and the real Baphomet statue is surprisingly uncanny, as this screenshot shows:
As to why a demonic statue is featured so prominently in the show, this new “Sabrina” is nothing like its more family-friendly predecessor being that it sports a darkly satanic tone punctuated by a cheeky sense of self-referential meta-humor.
In an email to Broadly, Greaves lamented that “Sabrina” appropriates their image to push a “harmful” representation of their kind, which will only lead to “witch-hunts.”
“One of the central missions of The Satanic Temple has been to fight back against witch-hunts and irrational mob panics,” Greaves said, adding that he sees “signs of a Satanic Panic revival today, and as Satanists we need to do all we can to fight back against negligent and harmful representations.”
TST co-founder Malcolm Jarry stated, “If a resolution cannot be worked out, we will take aggressive actions to protect our copyright.”
“We hold a copyright that was filed with the Library of Congress,” Jarry explained. “Statues and their subsequent representations are protected. In fact, the US Postal Service had to pay a hefty fine for their unauthorized use of the representation of a statue—ironically, a representation of the Statue of Liberty.”
The Netflix “Sabrina” features the eerily similar Baphomet statue at the Academy of Unseen Arts, a school for witches. Other outlets have already noted the similarities between the two.
“Both statues feature Baphomet in a seated stance, with two adoring children—of similar appearance—looking upward,” reports Broadly. “Notably, neither of the statues depict Baphomet with breasts, though the popularized image of the goat-headed figure originated in an 1856 illustration by occultist Eliphas Lévi, which clearly showed a creature with exposed breasts.”
Lisa Soper, the production designer of “Sabrina,” told VICE the statue similarities were simply a coincidence.
“I think that’s kind of a coincidence…,” Soper said. “When you look at Baphomet, there’s really only a couple of statues of him—which, they have their statue, and we’ve got our statue in the show.”
She continued, “If you look at Goya paintings, if you look at a lot of the tarot cards, or the Alistair Crawley iterations of him—because there’s hundreds and hundreds of iterations of him, he’s always seen with his people around him and it’s more of like a father figure kind of thing. So depicting his children with him, that kind of stuff, and those kinds of elements are all kind of the same. But it’s no different from, in my opinion anyhow … from any other of the mass amounts of iterations of him that have been around.”