Sesame Street Sues Melissa McCarthy's Racy Puppet Movie "The Happytime Murders"

Sesame Street Sues Melissa McCarthy's Racy Puppet Movie

They've filed a lawsuit against the producers of a new R-rated film from The Jim Henson Company for misusing their brand.

The lawsuit particularly cites use of the tagline in the film's "just-released trailer with explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets".

"We were surprised and disappointed that Sesame Street, a show dedicated to educating young children, is being exploited to market this R-rated film", the nonprofit Sesame Workshop said in a statement, referring to the film's restricted maturity rating. Sesame Workshop, the folks who run Sesame Street, are suing the makers of the raunchy puppet movie, claiming the film tarnishes the Sesame Street brand.

The trailer is showing in select cinemas and is available online for those over the age of 18.

The movie was directed by Brian Henson - son of famous puppeteer Jim Henson who also created characters for Sesame Street and voiced Kermit the Frog - and also stars Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale and Elizabeth Banks. According to the lawsuit, STX Entertainment didn't get approval from Sesame Street to use their name.

The creators of Sesame Street are suing over a new movie trailer that they claim suggests certain puppets live depraved, brutal lives when offstage - snorting hard drugs through licorice straws, selling sexual favors to humans and succumbing to gun violence.

The complaint goes on to allege that "a parade of social media posts, emails and public comments" indicates that the tagline "has confused and appalled viewers because of what they believe to be a serious breach of trust by Sesame by supporting this movie".

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THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is a filthy comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist.

Melissa McCarthy's next movie, "The Happytime Murders", will hit theaters in August.

STX Productions LLC, in a statement issued in the name of "Fred, Esq", a lawyer puppet, said it was looking forward to introducing its "adorably unapologetic characters" to adult moviegoers this summer.

For the creators of Sesame Street, therein lies the problem. "ALL STREET." tagline with the hope and intention of commercially appropriating Sesame's mark and associated goodwill and implying an association that does not exist to promote the release of their movie.

"Sesame Street" isn't all fun and games, if a lawsuit filed Thursday by its parent company, Sesame Workshop, is any indication.

It opens in the US on August 17.

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