Netflix's The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is being sued over its use of a statue representing the symbolic deity Baphomet, but the Church of Satan wants people to know that they're not the group behind the lawsuit.
As previously reported The Satanic Temple, a nontheistic religious and political activism group, first threatened and then actually filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the statue claiming that the "Defendants misappropriated the TST Baphomet Children in ways implying the monument stands for evil. Among other morally repugnant actions, the Sabrina Series' evil antagonists engage in cannibalism and forced-worship of a patriarchal deity". The lawsuit seeks $150 million in damages.
As the Church of Satan is an entirely separate organization, they want to make it clear they're not behind this lawsuit -- and have no issues with Sabrina, the use of Baphomet, and even go so far as to call out The Satanic Temple's lawsuit as a PR stunt.
"Recently, The Satanic Temple has filed a lawsuit against Netflix over a depiction of the symbolic deity Baphomet in their series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," Reverend Joel Ethan writes in the statement. "As a significant number of people seem to be confusing this with us, we would like to clarify that TST is a political activist group that has nothing to do with us, nor with the religion of Satanism which we founded over 50 years ago. The Church of Satan has not filed a suit against Netflix, nor do we have a problem with their Sabrina show, which we've previously discussed."
The statement goes on to discuss their own use of Baphomet and notes that, in their estimation, Netflix's take isn't a direct copy of The Satanic Temple's take.
"Netflix built their own Baphomet sculpture for their show which obviously references the TST version, but also references numerous public domain versions," the statement reads. "Differing details in the chest, wings, beard, head and so on make it clear that the Netflix version is not an exact copy of the TST version, rather a situation of fair use of public domain and popular cultural imagery."
The Satanic Temple statue referenced is a nine-foot-tall statue that was unveiled in Detroit in 2015 and was intended to be displayed across from a statue of the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma. In the Netflix series, the monument has connections to Satan himself, despite the real-life monument not intending to be modeled in the likeness of Lucifer. In that regard, Greaves feels as though the use of the Satanic Temple's monument could misinterpret what the icon is meant to represent.
"It's distressing on the grounds that you have to worry about that association being made where people will see your monument and not know which preceded the other," Greaves detailed. "And thinking that you arbitrarily decided to go with the Sabrina design for your Baphomet monument, which rather cheapens our central icon."
The Church of Satan sees it differently, however, and simply wants to be left out of it.
"To reiterate, while TST is known for childish PR stunts such as fake political rallies, mailing “cum rags” to congress and rubbing genitals on grave stones to turn people gay after their deaths, these actions are not in any way representative of the apolitical, individualistic and atheistic religion of Satanism," the statement reads. "Please do not attribute their actions to us."
What do you think about the Church of Satan's statement? Let us know in the comments.