Bridgerton has been a huge hit, and has seen countless amounts of fan-created content in its wake, but none quite so successful as musical duo Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, who won a Grammy for their Unofficial Bridgerton Musical. However, Netflix is now decided to sue the pair following two live concerts - and executive producer Shonda Rhimes has spoken out in support of the decision.
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In a statement, she said: "There is so much joy in seeing audiences fall in love with Bridgerton and watching the creative ways they express their fandom. 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.
WATCH: The musical started out on TikTok
"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."
Julia Quinn, who wrote the popular novel series, added: "Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear are wildly talented, and I was flattered and delighted when they began composing Bridgerton songs and sharing with other fans on TikTok. There is a difference, however, between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for commercial gain.
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"I would hope that Barlow & Bear, who share my position as independent creative professionals, understand the need to protect other professionals' intellectual property, including the characters and stories I created in the Bridgerton novels over 20 years ago."
The show is currently filming season three
Although Abigail and Emily have yet to speak out about the lawsuits, fans of the show have been sharing their opinions on TikTok, with one person writing: "It certainly sounds like Netflix has every right to sue here, but the timing does feel wrong given their own earlier use of the songs," while another person added: "Honestly I’m not surprised this is happening. Like making a ton of profit is clearly crossing a line."
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