Well, they do say the Devil is in the details.
Netflix and the Satanic Temple finally reached a detente in the copyright infringement lawsuit the Temple recently filed over Netflix’s new show The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Several episodes of the show feature an image of the deity Baphomet, a half-man, half-goat figure worshipped by various occult and esoteric spiritual groups. Imagery of Baphomet first appeared in the mid 1800s and its origins go back to the Knights Templar in the 14th century.
But the Satanic Temple created its own version of Baphomet as its main symbol. And it is this version, the suit alleges, that Sabrina copied and used without credit.
In a statement, the Temple’s founder, Lucien Greaves, said that while “Many people immediately supported our copyright claim,” the organization has been flooded with pushback, some of which went so far as to accuse the organization of harming the show’s teenage star, Kiernan Shipka.
“I have gotten quite a bit of hate mail from people seemingly basic enough to conceive of the situation as one in which a large powerful Satanic organization is using its might to bully an uncertain and innocent teenage witch who has just been newly exposed to the wide, cruel world.”
Shipka is, of course, no newcomer, having starred on Mad Men for seven seasons and appearing in Ryan Murphy’s series Feud: Bette and Joan last year.
But it’s not just the show’s uncredited usage itself that angered the Temple, which was founded in 2012 with a focus on promoting social justice and the separation of church and state (its ties to Satan and Satanism are metaphorical). The depiction of Baphomet, which Greaves characterized on Twitter as “asinine Satanic Panic fiction,” angered the group as well.
Yes, we are taking legal action regarding #TheChillingAdventuresofSabrina appropriating our copyrighted monument design to promote their asinine Satanic Panic fiction.
— Lucien Greaves (@LucienGreaves) October 29, 2018
Greaves went on to characterize the response as discriminatory:
“I’m amazed that anybody is confused as to why we would seek legal remedy over Sabrina using our monument. Would they be as understanding of a fictional show that used a real mosque as the HQ of a terrorist cell? A fictional Blood Libel tale implicating real world Jews?”
The $50 million lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Greaves announced his victory on Twitter.
So ends one of the most overpublicized of copyright claims. Press can now stop pretending this was unique & momentous, or even interesting. So, too, hopefully ends the parade of stupidity from online amateur legal experts.https://t.co/eSg1fl3sdv
— Lucien Greaves (@LucienGreaves) November 21, 2018
And the responses on social media were all over the map.
Many–both Satanists and non–were congratulatory.
Excellent work my friend. Thank you for safeguarding the interests of TST and it's members. Hail Satan <3
— Sadie Satanas (@SadieSatanas) November 21, 2018
Speaking as a lawyer, nicely handled from beginning to end, Lucien. Congrats on getting it behind you.
— Tom Hudson (@4RealTomHudson) November 21, 2018
So basically free PR for their organized religion… Sounds like they have a smart PR department. Better than the Catholic church's.
— Mike Rosa (@mdotr_) November 23, 2018
But many others were less than enthusiastic.
This is actually pretty dumb. I'm as atheist as an agnostic can get. I try to approach everything sensibly and rationally… and this play is sinking to the same low that religious people sink to. Pretty fucking embarrassing and I'm very ashamed of this money move. It's a new low
— Spencer Morgan (@spencermorgank) November 23, 2018
Glad you got your money and your 15 mins of fame.
— Stephanie Michelle (@ihveanaddiction) November 23, 2018
Omg it's a FICTIONAL TV show 🤦🏼♀️. The Satanic Temple be looking for that #clout!
— Kyra Nicole (@Kyra_Nicole18) November 24, 2018
And, of course, there were jokes!
Amateur legal advice: Netflix would have won if they had pointed out the fact that their statue clearly doesn't even lift. pic.twitter.com/E5pgBgtNH3
— KingBradleyXIII (@AKingBradley) November 22, 2018
How much did Netflix have to pay satan?
— Sean Hatch (@Bullletspongexb) November 24, 2018
Some Sympathy For The Devil, I guess. pic.twitter.com/IuRreWKVQ9
— Julien Mc (@creolejulien) November 23, 2018
The bet the devil has a shit hot legal team. pic.twitter.com/1KXmN8AlyJ
— LushLife (@GentlemanLondon) November 23, 2018
And, naturally, there were those who just didn’t get it.
Deadpool is your profile pic . . .
— Travis (@_travis2323) November 23, 2018
(There’s always one.)
Anyway, in addition to whatever financial compensation was involved, Sabrina will now credit the Temple of Satan in the end titles of all episodes.
Guess it’s official: when you mess with the Devil, you get the horns.