Netflix is suing the illegal “Bridgerton” musical’s songwriters for infringement, according to court filings filed Friday in a US District Court in Washington, DC. In 2021, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear produced a series of music videos that were uploaded on TikTok as an homage to the immensely popular Netflix series. The song had over 45 million streams, peaked at No. 1 on the US pop charts on iTunes, and took home the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album in 2022.
The lawsuit claims that the pair plans to tour, with a stop coming up at London’s Royal Albert Hall, as well as to sell Bridgerton-based merchandise. Although the streamer initially praised the idea as a free online homage, it is now objecting to the musical’s transformation into a for-profit endeavour. The streamer also took issue with the pair deceiving the public by claiming to be utilising the Netflix Bridgerton trademark “with Permission”; the streamer “vigorously objected” to this as well.
Additionally, an attorney for Netflix named Rosa Leda Ehler states in the complaint, “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. Barlow & Bear cannot take that right-made valuable by others’ hard work-for themselves, without permission. Yet that is exactly what they have done.”
Netflix is also promoting the Bridgerton Experience, a six-city event that invites viewers for an immersive viewing of the drama. According to the steamer, Barlow and Bear’s work is in blatant opposition to their output. According to a Netflix spokesman, “We’ve tried hard to work with Barlow & Bear, and they have refused to cooperate. The creators, cast, writers and crew have poured their hearts and souls into Bridgerton, and we’re taking action to protect their rights.”