Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear have been sued by Netflix for their popular stage adaptation of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical based on the streamer's popular series Bridgerton, according to Broadway World. Bear produced the album, and Barlow sang her heart out. Earlier this week, the duo performed for a sold-out crowd at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
The streamer originally praised the idea as a free online tribute, but it is opposed to the musical's expansion into a for-profit organization as the pair plans to tour, with an upcoming appearance at London's Royal Albert Hall, as well as selling Bridgerton merchandise, according to the official complaint.
"The live show consisted of over a dozen songs that reinterpreted Bridgerton's verbatim dialogue, character characteristics, and other elements that had been written for the series," said the plaintiffs. Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their businesses ("Barlow & Bear") have taken valuable intellectual property from the Netflix original series Bridgerton to establish an international reputation."
While the streamer vigorously opposed, the duo misled the audience by implying that they were using Netflix's Bridgerton trademark with Permission. Rosa Leda Ehler, a lawyer for Netflix, further writes in the complaint that Bridgerton represents the collective creativity and hard-earned success of hundreds of artists and Netflix employees. Barlow & Bear cannot take that advantage for themselves, as they have done.
The Bridgerton Experience is a six-city event that draws in fans for a detailed immersion into the show. Barlow and Bears work has been in direct conflict with their production, according to a Netflix spokesperson. Bridgerton's creators, cast, writers, and crew have put their lives into the show.
What started as a fun social media post by Barlow & Bear has turned into a deliberate theft of intellectual property solely for Barlow & Bear's financial benefit, according to the lawsuit. Netflix cannot stand by and allow Barlow & Bear to do the same with Bridgerton.
Netflix has two seasons of Bridgerton, and production for Season 3 is currently underway. See below Simon and Daphne's love confession from Season 1.