With the incredible success that Bridgerton has found, it was inevitable that the idea would be squeezed for all its worth and inspire various spinoff projects such as The Bridgerton Experience. The recently announced Bridgerton Broadway musical had everyone buzzing, including the original series owners at Netflix, who were not impressed. Unfortunately, it appears the streaming platform is not on board with this project, as the musical is an unofficial fan-made spinoff. As a result, they have filed an official lawsuit against its songwriters Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear. Here's everything there is to know about this showdown...
"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 told Entertainment Weekly. "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."
In the midst of the Pandemic, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear began to write their songs based on the Bridgerton Netflix series. "Inspired by a line of dialogue in the TV show" that was "basically poetry," Barlow began to write. Hours later, she had created the smash hit Ocean Way and called Emily in excitement to discuss "'what if Bridgerton was a musical?'" The resulting album, The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical went viral and earned the women a Grammy. Just last week, they sold out a one-night-only performance of the musical at the Kennedy Center in DC.
Obtained documents reveal this Kennedy Center show to be the trigger for this lawsuit. "Over Netflix's repeated objections, Barlow & Bear staged a massive, for-profit stage show with over a dozen songs that copied verbatim dialogue, character traits and expression, and other elements from Bridgerton the series." They stated that they had wrongly given the audience the impression that the musical was under Netflix's authority which it was not. They also issued complaints about Barlow and Bear's sale of unofficial Bridgerton merchandise. Stay tuned to see how this saga develops!