Warner’s Sabrina sued over logo use
NEW YORK — The Satanic Temple has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and Netflix, alleging copyright violation of its goat-headed statue, which it says appears in the new Sabrina series.
The temple objected to the use of the statue’s likeness in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which features a much darker portrayal of the teenage half-human, half-witch immortalized decades ago in Archie comics.
In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the plaintiffs ask for millions of dollars in damages for each alleged infraction: copyright infringement, trademark violation and injury to the business’ reputation. They also request an injunction barring the companies from redistributing the series with the image of the statue.
The temple argues that the television show not only copied its conception of the deity — a muscled figure with two young children staring up at it — but also that it gives the statue and the Satanic Temple itself a bad rap.
The Satanic Temple, based in Salem, Mass., defines its mission, in part, to “reject tyrannical authority” and to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.” Last year, the temple drew headlines for sponsoring a billboard in Texas that condemned corporal punishment.
The Satanic Temple designed the statue, called Baphomet With Children, about five years ago as a response to religious displays on public property. In 2015, the Satanic Temple pushed to install a bronze statue of Baphomet — hooves, horns and all — to counter a Ten Commandments display at the Oklahoma Capitol. (The state Supreme Court later outlawed the Ten Commandments display from appearing there.)
The Satanic Temple is seeking to install a similar statue in Little Rock on state Capitol grounds. It is arguing that with state approval of the placement of a monument to the Ten Commandments near the State House requires other religions be given the chance to display their symbols.
When the Satanic Temple tried to join a case the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas had already filed against the state over the Ten Commandments monument, the ACLU asked the court to bar the intervention. A judge has not yet ruled whether the Satanic Temple can join the case.
Bruce Lederman, a lawyer for the Satanic Temple, said the statue was commissioned as a symbol that they could bring out when they felt government wasn’t separating church and state, But in Sabrina, the lawsuit argues, the statue is an evil symbol representing the show’s antagonists.