Netflix sues ‘Unofficial Bridgerton Musical’ creators for ‘blatant infringement’


Netflix has filed a lawsuit against the authors of “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical.”

In documents obtained by The Post, the streaming giant is coming after Abigail Barlow, 23, and Emily Bear, 20 — known professionally as Barlow & Bear — to stop the Grammy-winning duo from producing any future productions of their show live in concert.

Earlier this week, the musical played in front of a sold-out crowd at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The lawsuit claims that ticket prices got up to $149 each, and VIP packages were also listed.

Netflix also wants compensation for any profits the musicians have already made from the show.

“Defendants Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear and their companies (‘Barlow & Bear’) have taken valuable intellectual property from the Netflix original series Bridgerton to build an international brand for themselves,” Rosa Leda Ehler, an attorney representing Netflix, writes in the complaint.

“Bridgerton reflects the creative work and hard-earned success of hundreds of artists and Netflix employees. Netflix owns the exclusive right to create Bridgerton songs, musicals, or any other derivative works based on Bridgerton,” she continues. “Barlow & Bear cannot take that right-made valuable by others’ hard work-for themselves, without permission. Yet that is exactly what they have done.”

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The complaint continues: “The live show featured over a dozen songs that copied verbatim dialogue, character traits and expression, and other elements from Bridgerton the series. It included dramatic portrayals of Bridgerton characters by Broadway actors, emoting through the performance of the songs that comprise the ‘musical.’”

The complaint further suggests that the live show smacks of “blatant infringement” that flies in the face of copyright and trademark laws.

“Barlow & Bear’s conduct began on social media, but stretches ‘fan fiction’ well past its breaking point,” the suit adds. “It is blatant infringement of intellectual property rights.”

It also claims that the duo has been promoting their show “using Netflix’s BRIDGERTON trademark ‘with Permission,’ while Netflix vigorously objected.”

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Netflix’s soapy historical hit is in its second season.
LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Barlow and Bear originally toyed with the idea for “Bridgerton” songs for fans on TikTok in 2021. With Barlow’s lead vocals and orchestration, production and additional vocals by Bear, the pair created enough songs to release an album. “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” won Best Musical Theater Album at the 2022 Grammys, making them the youngest people in history to win the category.

The pair have plans to tour the show, recently announcing a stop in London, but the lawsuit might change that.

Netflix’s hit, steamy historical drama is now in its second season with Season 3 already in the works — and plans to focus on Penelope Featherington’s love story with her crush, Colin Bridgerton, in a bit of a departure from Julia Quinn’s book series.

The Post has contacted Netflix and Barlow & Bear for comment.