tiktok musicals

Netflix Is Suing the Creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical

Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear. Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images

Netflix has taken Bridgerton from Queen Charlotte’s court to … the United States District Court for the District of Columbia? Per Deadline, the streamer is suing Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear over The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical. “Netflix owns the exclusive right to create Bridgerton songs, musicals, or any other derivative works based on Bridgerton,” the 25-page lawsuit states. “Barlow & Bear cannot take that right — made valuable by others’ hard work — for themselves, without permission. Yet that is exactly what they have done.” Barlow and Bear’s 15-track album won Best Musical Theater Album at this year’s Grammys. It was born in 2021 as a series of viral TikTok songs that reimagined the sexy period series as a musical. Netflix itself praised the effort at the time, tweeting that it was “absolutely blown away.”

But the streamer eventually became uncomfortable with the prospect of an unofficial work turning into a profitable business. On July 26, the Bridgerton-inspired album made its world premiere in a live concert that sold out the Kennedy Center, with tickets priced up to $149. The performance featured several Broadway actors, including Kelli O’Hara, Denée Benton, and Ephraim Sykes, as special guests. The lawsuit claims that Netflix repeatedly objected to the show. It further alleges that the duo “misrepresented to the audience that they were using Netflix’s BRIDGERTON trademark ‘with Permission.’” Barlow and Bear are scheduled to take their live concert to London in September. According to the lawsuit, they also have plans to release a line of merchandise.

Netflix claimed that its representatives made it clear that the streamer did not authorize any live performances or other derivative works that could compete with, say, Netflix’s own Bridgerton Experience. Barlow and Bear have yet to comment on the lawsuit. If it’s any consolation, though? They probably don’t have to worry about facing any legal action for that other TikTok musical they made. After all, Mexican Pizza: The Musical was commissioned by Taco Bell itself.

Netflix Suing The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical’s Creators