The team behind an unofficial “Bridgerton” musical is being sued by Netflix in Washington DCUS District Court for infringement.
Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, the songwriting team behind the project, originally developed the musical on social media. The duo peaked at #1 on the iTunes US pop charts and even won a Grammy this year for best theatrical musical album.
More from Variety
Netflix claims the project has made “repeated objections” to the team as they plan to host a live stage show. The “Unofficial Bridgerton Music Album Live Concert” at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC earlier this week sold the venue for ticket prices of up to $149.
The stage show reportedly includes more than a dozen songs that feature perfectly copied dialogues, character traits, phrases, and other elements from “Bridgerton.”
The broadcaster claims that “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album Live in Concert” misrepresented viewers that it used the “Bridgerton” trademark “with permission”. Netflix is also contesting an alleged lineup and upcoming tour dates for the production.
Barlow & Bear representatives were not immediately available for comment on the case.
“Netflix supports fan-created content, but Barlow & Bear have gone so many steps further by trying to create multiple revenue streams for themselves without official permission to use the ‘Bridgerton’ IP,” Netflix said in a statement. “We tried so hard to work with Barlow & Bear and they refused to cooperate. The creators, actors, writers and crew poured their hearts and souls into ‘Bridgerton’ and we are taking action to protect their rights.”
“Bridgerton” creator Shonda Rhimes said, “It’s such a joy to see viewers fall in love with ‘Bridgerton’ and express their fandom in creative ways.” “What started as a fun celebration on social media by Barlow & Bear has evolved into a blatant takeover of intellectual property solely for Barlow & Bear’s financial benefit. This feature was created by Julia Quinn and brought to the screen with the hard work of countless people. Barlow & Bear cannot allow others to hijack their IP for profit, and Netflix cannot stand by and let Barlow & Bear do the same with ‘Bridgerton’.”
Best of Variety
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news.
Click here to read the full article.