The team behind an unofficial ‘Bridgerton’ musical has been sued for infringement by Netflix in a Washington, DC US District Court.
According to Variety, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, the signwriting team behind the project, initially developed the musical on social media. The duo went on to score the No. 1 slot on iTunes US pop charts and even won a Grammy this year in the category of best musical theatre album.
Netflix has alleged that it made “repeated objections” against the team as they planned to mount a live stage show of the project.
‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album Live in Concert’ performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC earlier this week, selling out the venue with ticket prices that ranged up to USD 149.
The stage show reportedly featured more than a dozen songs that involved exactly copied dialogue, character traits, expression, and other elements from ‘Bridgerton’.
The streamer alleges that ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album Live in Concert’ misrepresented to audiences that it used the ‘Bridgerton’ trademark “with permission.” Netflix also objects to an allegedly planned line of merchandise and the production’s upcoming tour dates.
“Netflix supports fan-generated content, but Barlow & Bear have taken this many steps further, seeking to create multiple revenue streams for themselves without formal permission to utilize the ‘Bridgerton’ IP,” Netflix wrote in a statement.
As per Variety, they added, “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.”
Earlier, in her conversation with EW, Barlow credited the pandemic for giving them the room to build their following online. “I feel like a few years ago, Netflix probably would’ve sent us a cease-and-desist for what we’re doing, but I think in a time like this, it is so important to have a creative outlet,” she said.