Shonda Rhimes And Julia Quinn Defend Netflix’s Lawsuit Towards Creators Behind ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical’
Netflix is suing the Grammy-winning artists behind an unofficial “Bridgerton” musical for infringement after the songwriting duo, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, staged a stay live performance with out the manufacturing firm’s permission.
The musical ensemble, who go by the identify Barlow & Bear, created the favored adaptation, an album titled The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, based mostly on the hit Netflix collection. Earlier this week, they staged “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album Reside in Live performance” on the Kennedy Middle in Washington, D.C., promoting out the venue.
Initially, Netflix applauded the idea when it debuted as a free on-line tribute to the favored present on TikTok, earlier than it grew into an precise album. Nonetheless, when Barlow & Bear additional developed their challenge right into a worthwhile enterprise, Netflix filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. U.S. District Courtroom.
“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their firms (“Barlow & Bear”) have taken helpful mental property from the Netflix unique collection ‘Bridgerton’ to construct a global model for themselves,” the lawsuit acknowledged. “’Bridgerton’ displays the artistic work and hard- earned success of tons of of artists and Netflix workers. Netflix owns the unique proper to create ‘Bridgerton’ songs, musicals, or every other spinoff works based mostly on ‘Bridgerton’. Barlow & Bear can’t take that proper—made helpful by others’ laborious work—for themselves, with out permission. But that’s precisely what they’ve achieved.”
Completely blown away by the Bridgerton musical enjoying out on TikTok
— Netflix (@netflix) January 13, 2021
In line with Netflix, they made “repeated objection” to Barlow & Bear’s stay stage present that featured over a dozen songs that “allegedly copied verbatim dialogue, character traits and expression, and different parts from ‘Bridgerton’ the collection.” Tickets for the occasion ranged as much as $149 every and VIP packages offered for much more.
“All through the efficiency, Barlow & Bear misrepresented to the viewers that they had been utilizing Netflix’s BRIDGERTON trademark ‘with Permission,’” the lawsuit additional acknowledged. The swimsuit additionally claims that the pair plans to market a merchandise line, plus, take the musical present on tour, which might immediately compete with Netflix’s personal “Bridgerton Expertise,” a six-city occasion.
Barlow & Bear have but to touch upon the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for Netflix issued a press release that reads: “Netflix helps fan-generated content material, however Barlow & Bear have taken this many steps additional, looking for to create a number of income streams for themselves with out formal permission to make the most of the ‘Bridgerton’ IP. We’ve tried laborious to work with Barlow & Bear, and so they have refused to cooperate. The creators, forged, writers and crew have poured their hearts and souls into ‘Bridgerton’, and we’re taking motion to guard their rights.”
Shonda Rhimes, “Bridgerton”‘s govt producer, defended Netflix’s determination to sue the creators behind The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical.
“There’s a lot pleasure in seeing audiences fall in love with ‘Bridgerton’ and watching the artistic methods they specific their fandom. What began as a enjoyable celebration by Barlow & Bear on social media has become the blatant taking of mental property solely for Barlow & Bear’s monetary profit,” Rhimes mentioned in her official assertion. “This property was created by Julia Quinn and dropped at life on display screen by the laborious work of numerous people. Simply as Barlow & Bear wouldn’t permit others to applicable their IP for revenue, Netflix can’t stand by and permit Barlow & Bear to do the identical with ‘Bridgerton.’”
Quinn, who’s the writer of the “Bridgerton” novel collection, additionally backed Netflix’s determination.
“Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear are wildly proficient, and I used to be flattered and delighted after they started composing ‘Bridgerton’ songs and sharing with different followers on TikTok. There’s a distinction, nevertheless, between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for industrial achieve,” Quinn defined in a press release. “I’d hope that Barlow & Bear, who share my place as unbiased artistic professionals, perceive the necessity to shield different professionals’ mental property, together with the characters and tales I created within the ‘Bridgerton’ novels over twenty years in the past.”
The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, launched in September 2021, hit No. 1 on iTunes U.S. pop charts and was streamed greater than 45 million occasions. It won a Grammy for Greatest Musical Theater Album.