Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, the artists of an unofficial Bridgerton musical that started on TikTok, are being sued by Netflix for violating their censorship rights.

By scheduling live shows around their Grammy-winning album The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, Netflix accused the duo and their company, Barlow & Bear, of infringing others’ creative work. Additionally, Netflix claims that Emily and Abigail are selling merchandise carrying Bridgerton branding without Netflix’s consent.

Netflix denied authorization for Barlow and Bear’s album at the time but decided not to stand in their way in light of their appreciation for the show. Based on Julia Quinn’s books, the streaming series is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, and Netflix owns the rights.

As stated in the lawsuit, “Bridgerton reflects the creative work and hard-earned success of hundreds of artists and Netflix employees.”

Continuing the legal statement, “Netflix owns the exclusive right to create Bridgerton songs, musicals, or any other derivative works based on Bridgerton.”

Furthermore, the lawsuit charges that the creators of the streaming program have taken things too far by claiming the creative work of those behind it and refusing to negotiate a license.

Barlow & Bear cannot take that right, made valuable by others’ hard work for themselves, without Permission. Yet that is — exactly what they have done,” the lawsuit further stated.

However, Emily or Abigail had no immediate response regarding the lawsuit. 

Shortly after Bridgerton premiered in December 2020, the singers released their first collaboration on TikTok.

In response to TikTok’s viral success, the duo began making and sharing more songs with lyrics inspired by the show, earning praise from Bridgerton fans, Netflix, and Quinn himself. A year later, the duo released The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Album on Spotify, which won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

It claimed in its suit that Netflix repeatedly told the duo that their Bridgerton-related works were not permitted. Despite Netflix’s concerns, Barlow & Bear ensured they would not put their album online without the company’s consent. They also emphasized that the duo did not want to interfere with Netflix’s rights or be known only as “Bridgerton girls.”

Barlow & Bear were also accused by Netflix of using the Bridgerton mark on their promotional materials and wrongly claimed they were “used with permission” in a live performance at Kennedy Center performance with the National Symphony Orchestra and Broadway stars. The duo promoted the event with the image that reads, “BRIDGERTON is a Trademark of Netflix; used with Permission. This event is not endorsed or sponsored by Netflix or its partners.” 

According to the lawsuit in June, Netflix informed the duo multiple times that the Kennedy Center show was not authorized and would constitute copyright and trademark infringement. 

Although Netflix offered to negotiate a license to allow them to keep distributing the album, continue with some live performances, and perform Bridgerton songs in more extensive programs, the duo declined, as stated in the lawsuit.