Netflix Sues Abigail Barlow, Emily Bear Of “Bridgerton” Musical

Netflix is ​​suing Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, the creators of the unofficial Bridgerton musical that got its start on TikTok, accusing them of “blatant infringement” of the streaming giant’s intellectual property rights.

in a lawsuit filed Friday, Netflix alleged that the duo and their company, Barlow & Bear, “appropriate others’ creative work and goodwill to benefit themselves” by planning live shows around their Grammy winning album The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, as well as selling merchandise with Bridgerton branding without Netflix’s permission. Executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, the streaming series is based on books by Julia Quinn, and Netflix owns the adaptation rights.

When the Barlow and Bear first released their album, Netflix said it did not authorize or approve of it, but the company did not stand in the way “in the spirit of supporting” their appreciation for the show. But Netflix is ​​now saying that the duo have gone too far, appropriating the creative work of those behind the streaming show and refusing to negotiate a license to market and expand on their Bridgerton-related work.

Bridgerton reflects the creative work and hard-earned success of hundreds of artists and Netflix employees. Netflix owns the exclusive right to create Bridgerton songs, musicals, or any other derivative works based on Bridgerton,” the lawsuit said. “Barlow & Bear cannot take that right — made valuable by others’ hard work — for themselves, without permission. Yet that is exactly what they have done.”

Barlow & Bear did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the lawsuit.

The duo released their first Bridgerton collaboration on TikTok shortly after the hit show debuted in December 2020. “What if Bridgerton was a musical?” Barlow says before breaking out in song.

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