Netflix Sues Creators of Unofficial Bridgerton Musical

Netflix is suing the creators of the Unofficial Bridgerton Musical. In a U.S. District Court, the streaming giant alleged that the company infringement. Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear helped create the project. On social media, they penned the songs in front of a rapt audience. iTunes success followed and even a Grammy as they were recognized for the Best Musical Theater Album. However, Netflix argues that they lodged "repeated objections" against the team. When the time came to put on a stage show for a live viewership, the streamer says it was the last straw. "The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album Live in Concert" took place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Tickets were selling for almost $150.

In a statement, the streaming giant laid out its grievances to Variety. "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 said. "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."

"There is so much joy in seeing audiences fall in love with 'Bridgerton' and watching the creative ways they express their fandom," Shonda Rhimes, Bridgerton series creator wrote. "What started as a fun celebration by Barlow & Bear on social media has turned into the blatant taking of intellectual property solely for Barlow & Bear's financial benefit. This property was created by Julia Quinn and brought to life on screen through the hard work of countless individuals. Just as Barlow & Bear would not allow others to appropriate their IP for profit, Netflix cannot stand by and allow Barlow & Bear to do the same with 'Bridgerton.'"

Netflix has made no secret of how big the Shondaland series is to their brand. "Bridgerton swept us off our feet. The creative team, led by Shonda, knew the material and delivered a beautiful, emotional, romantic drama for our members. They have some exciting plans for the future, and we think audiences will continue to swoon for this show. We're planning to be in the Bridgerton business for a long time to come,"  Bela Bajaria, Netflix's VP, Global TV, explained when the renewal for Bridgerton was announced.

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