Trouble in the Ton! Netflix’s Bridgerton has fast become one of the streamer’s most popular hit series, which soon inspired plenty of fan theories, content creation and original music.
After the premiere of season 1, Bridgerton December 2020 Abigail BarlowAnd Emily BearTikTok announced that they would create their own musical based on the show. After going viral on the social media platform, the musical duo were eventually able to record their numbers on an “unofficial” soundtrack album, which is currently streaming on Spotify. Barlow and Bear, who’ve since won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, have now been named in a copyright infringement lawsuit by Netflix.
“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their companies (‘Barlow & Bear’) have taken valuable intellectual property from the Netflix original series Bridgerton to build an international brand for themselves,” the federal lawsuit stated, according to the paperwork obtained by Deadline Friday, July 29, 2009. “Bridgerton This is the culmination of the hard work of hundreds of artists, and Netflix employees. Netflix has the exclusive right of creating Bridgerton Songs, musicals, or other derivative works that are based on Bridgerton. Barlow & Bear cannot take that right — made valuable by others’ hard work — for themselves, without permission. Yet that is exactly what they have done.”
The tech company has alleged they made “repeated objection” after the musicians announced plans to sell tickets for their live stagings at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
“[Their]Live show featured more than a dozen songs that were based on verbatim dialogue, character traits, expressions, and other elements. Bridgerton the series,” the court documents read. “It included dramatic portrayals of Bridgerton characters by Broadway actors, emoting through the performance of the songs that comprise the ‘musical.’ Throughout the performance, Barlow & Bear misrepresented to the audience that they were using Netflix’s Bridgerton trademark ‘with Permission,’ while Netflix vigorously objected.”
Netflix, who is the only person authorized to authorize derivative works that are based on Julia Quinn’s book series, claimed in the court paperwork that they repeatedly told Barlow and Bear that their musical was unauthorized before the ladies went ahead with their plans. Their agent had allegedly told the streaming giant that the girls had “no interest in interfering with Netflix’s rights” or being known as “the Bridgerton girls.”
Netflix Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland production company adapted Quinn’s bestselling historical romance novels ahead of its first season premiere. The show follows the eight Bridgerton brothers as they navigate the London marriage market in 17th century London, much like the books. BridgertonStars in, currently filming its 3rd season. Jonathan Bailey, Phoebe Dynevor, Luke Newton, Luke Thompson, Claudia Jessie, Nicola CoughlanAnd Simone AshleyWith Julie AndrewsLady Whistledown may be voiced
Barlow and Bear didn’t immediately respond. Us Weekly‘s request for comment.
Scroll below for everything to know so far about Netflix’s legal battle over Bridgerton: