"Sesame Street" creators sue Melissa McCarthy-led film "The Happytime Murders" over marketing campaign
STXfilms(NEW YORK) — The creators of Sesame Street are quite grouch-y about one summer movie.
Variety reports that the show’s creators have sued STX Entertainment to stop referencing Sesame Street in its marketing campaign for the upcoming movie The Happytime Murders, starring Melissa McCarthy.
The R-rated film’s tagline, “No Sesame. All Street,” appears in the trailer and on the movie poster.
Sesame Street creators claim the film and advertisements will harm the educational and child-friendly brand of their show.
“While the trailer at issue is almost indescribably crude, Sesame is not trying to enjoin defendants’ promotion or distribution of their movie,” the suit reads. “It is only defendants’ deliberate choice to invoke and commercially misappropriate Sesame’s name and goodwill in marketing the movie — and thereby cause consumers to conclude that Sesame is somehow associated with the movie — that has infringed on and tarnished the Sesame Street mark and goodwill.”
The Happytime Murders follows McCarthy’s character as she investigates the multiple murders of puppets. The trailer claims viewers can see what puppets do when the “children aren’t around” and depicts them drinking, using drugs, and having sex.
Brian Henson, the son of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, directed the film, and the Jim Henson Company helped produce.
A puppet lawyer for the company, Fred Esq., responded with a statement:
“STX loved the idea of working closely with Brian Henson and the Jim Henson Company to tell the untold story of the active lives of Henson puppets when they’re not performing in front of children.”
The puppet attorney added that the company is not apologizing for using the show’s name in its marketing.
“While we’re disappointed that Sesame Street does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position. We look forward to introducing adult moviegoers to our adorably unapologetic characters this summer.”
The Happytime Murders hits theaters Aug. 17.
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