'Sesame Street' Creators Sue Producers of Melissa McCarthy Puppet Movie 'Happytime Murders'

Emmett Rice
May 28, 2018

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the "Sesame Street" creators are taking issue with the film's tagline, "NO SESAME, ALL STREET".

The lawsuit claims that marketing for The Happytime Murders was deliberately created to confuse audiences and make them think Sesame Street was affiliated with the film.

The comedy, set to be released in August, is a murder mystery revolving around puppets who exhibit raunchy behavior.

In the first trailer for the film, McCarthy - who plays a police detective - can be seen exchanging dialogue with a puppet who uses vulgar language and makes sexual references to her, which the 47-year-old actress responds to by punching him.

A rep for STX tells us, "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".

"Sesame seeks an injunction that forces Defendants to cease and desist their trading upon the goodwill associated with Sesame Street in furtherance of box office receipts".

The makers of Sesame Street aren't happy if you know it. "All Street", and examples of director Brian Henson's previous nonsexual work, such as The Muppets Christmas Carol.

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The claim might seem hard to swallow, but in an age of remakes, reboots, spinoffs, and other ancillary ways of capitalizing on intellectual property, one could argue that to the casual viewer, an adult-oriented Sesame Street spinoff might not be beyond the pale.

Along with Melissa McCarthy, The Happytime Murders' cast includes Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Jimmy O. Yang, and Leslie David Baker.

"We're incredibly pleased with the early reaction to the film and how well the trailer has been received by its intended audience".

In her reply, Lisa Henson apologized but said she and her brother were powerless to stop STX from marketing the film as it wished.

In a statement, STX Entertainment said it was "disappointed that Sesame Street did not share in the fun", but it was "confident in its legal position".

The lawsuit has been filed against against the distributor of the film to halt an advertising tagline - "No Sesame". The organisation says it has no desire to stop the film from being released or promoted.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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