from the desk of lady whistledown

Netflix Officially Settles The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Lawsuit

Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear. Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical won’t have to go to court after all. Netflix settled the copyright lawsuit that it filed against the musical’s creators Emily Bear and Abigail Barlow on September 23, two months after it first sued the pair in July, Variety reports. The streamer accused Bear and Barlow of copyright infringement following a live, for-profit stage production of the musical at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., saying that their decision to put on the show after repeated warnings “stretches ‘fan fiction’ well past its breaking point.” Prior to the case’s dismissal, Bear and Barlow canceled a London performance of the musical scheduled for September 20. According to the filing, Netflix — who first praised the songs after they began to go viral online — felt that the creators overstepped in their decision to profit from the musical and its associated merchandise, sowing confusion with fans over the platform’s own Bridgerton brand and products. Netflix filed the dismissal “with prejudice,” which means that the suit cannot be refiled. The Unofficial creators first rose to fame on TikTok after releasing songs inspired by the show and later won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album at the 2022 ceremony.

In official Bridgerton news, the first look for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story arrived on September 24, after being teased at the global Tudum Day fan event. The limited-series prequel follows Queen Charlotte’s enemies-to-lovers courtship with young King George, whose eventual marriage created the Ton as we know it in the series. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes also writes and produces, with India Amarteifio playing young Charlotte and Corey Mylchreest starring as young George. Golda Rosheuvel, Adjoa Andoh, and Ruth Gemmell reprise their roles from the original Bridgerton. The jury’s still out on whether or not Bear and Barlow will get to make a musical prequel, too.

Netflix Settles The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Lawsuit