Now this lawsuit will be the topic of conversation.
Abigail Barlow and Emily Beer, creators of “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” Netflix sued for copyright and trademark infringement. The move comes days after the pair staged a live performance Grammy Award-winning music album at the Kennedy Center in New York on July 26.
“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Beer and their companies (“Barlow & Bear”) took away valuable intellectual property from Netflix original series”bridgerton to create an international brand for itself,” the lawsuit states. “Netflix has the exclusive right to create songs, musicals or any other work based on Bridgerton. Barlow & Bear cannot take away this right without permission, which has become valuable through the hard work of others. But that’s exactly what they did.”
Barlow and Burr’s musical adaptation of the hit series went viral on TikTok last year. It was later released as an album in September 2021 and won Best Musical Theater Album at the Grammy 2022.
In its lawsuit, Netflix claims that the duo’s songs “liberally and almost identically copy from ‘Bridgerton’ in a number of original elements of expression,” including “plot, tempo, sequence of events, mood, setting and themes.”
In its complaint, Netflix alleged that they repeatedly told the couples that “such work is not permitted,” adding, “At every step of the way, Barlow & Bear representatives repeatedly assured Netflix that they understood Netflix’s position and led Netflix to believe that Netflix would consult before Barlow & Bear take a step beyond streaming their album online in an audio-only format.”
The streaming service claimed it first learned of Barlow and Burr’s performance in New York from its representatives last June, according to a court filing. The couple also plans to perform on the show at the Royal Albert Hall in London September 20.
“The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical ‘Barlow & Bear’ is not authorized by Netflix, Shondaland or Julia Quinn,” the lawsuit states. “And Netflix has never given Barlow & Bear permission to create or perform ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical’ live, let alone at the Kennedy Center or the Royal Albert Hall, or to create new derivative works based on Bridgerton’s intellectual property.”
Netflix also allegedly told a representative for the couple that they did not want Barlow and Beer involved in “any live performances” or “other derivative work that may compete with Netflix’s own planned events,” including the global theatrical event. The Queen’s Ball: The Bridgerton Experience.
Instead, the court documents noted that “the Kennedy Center performance went ahead on July 26, 2022, despite Netflix’s objections, to a sold-out crowd.”
The company also alleged that the pair allegedly sold unofficial merchandise at the event and throughout the evening “falsely represented to the audience that they were using the Netflix BRIDGERTON trademark ‘with permission,'” according to the complaint.
As a result, Netflix argued that Burr and Barlow’s actions would lead to “irreparable confusion among consumers as to whether their performances and merchandise are actually authorized.” The streaming service seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief, court costs, damages and additional relief.
E! News reached out to the musical’s creators for comment, but did not hear back.
Executive producer of “Bridgerton.” Shonda Rhimes and novelist Julia Quinn also spoke out about the trial.
“What started out as a fun celebration of Barlow & Bear on social media turned into a blatant intellectual property grab for the sole financial benefit of Barlow & Bear,” Rhimes said. Deadline. “Just as Barlow & Bear will not allow others to appropriate their IP for profit, Netflix cannot stand by and allow Barlow & Bear to do the same to Bridgerton.”
Julia explained that she was initially “delighted and delighted” by Barlow and Bear’s work.
“However, there is a difference between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for commercial gain,” Julia told the publication. “I hope Barlow & Bear, who share my position as independent creative professionals, understand the need to protect the intellectual property of other professionals, including the characters and stories I created in the Bridgerton novels over twenty years ago.”