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Christian Bale's 'Satan' Comment Started an Unhinged Feud Online

People are riled up about the 'Vice' star's quip during his Golden Globe acceptance speech.

by Beckett Mufson
08 January 2019, 12:46am

Screenshot via YouTube, composite by the author

This article originally appeared on VICE US

Sunday night's Golden Globes award ceremony was mostly dull, but its highlight—aside from Sandra Oh's historic win—was when Christian Bale thanked the dark lord Satan for inspiring his transformation into Dick Cheney for Adam McKay's scathing (and wonderfully-named) political comedy, Vice.

The response to Bale's comment, in which he also basically called Cheney an "uncharismatic asshole," was predictably mixed: laughter in the audience and LOLs online, but also outrage. The former vice president's daughter, Liz Cheney, clapped back by dredging up the time Bale allegedly "assaulted" his mother and sister in 2008—though as the Daily Beast pointed out, he apparently never actually laid a hand on anyone, and the charges were ultimately dismissed.

In Bale's corner, the Church of Satan literally hailed him for delivering the line in a tweet that quickly went viral. In comparing Cheney to Satan, it sounded like Bale didn't hold too high an opinion of the dark lord. But the CoS explained that, actually, being inspired by Lucifer is a good thing—and took advantage of the moment to elaborate on its founder Anton LaVey's contemporary take on Satan.

The tweet has racked up more than 300 replies, many of which are bizarre, barely comprehensible anti-Satan digs. The CoS referred to the string of commenters as the "godbotnet" because of how many seem to be barely active accounts with few followers.

This isn't the first time Satanists have wound up embroiled in a culture war online: The Satanic Temple, a more mainstream sect, is constantly weighing in on hot-button issues, whether it's staunchly defending reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality or slamming Neflix for allegedly jacking its design for a statue of Baphomet in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Correction (1/8): This post originally identified the Church of Satan as having defended reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality, as well as claiming Netflix copied its design for a statue of Baphomet. It was the Satanic Temple. We regret the error.

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