The creators of ‘Sesame Street’ don’t see anything funny about the upcoming adult puppet movie ‘The Happytime Murders’ directed by Jim Henson’s son Brian Henson which stars Melissa McCarthy. The late Jim Henson co-created many of the ‘Sesame Street’ characters with his wife Linda, via The Jim Henson Company. The Jim Henson Company produced ‘The Happytime Murders’ with STX.
The Sesame Workshop has filed a lawsuit that claims that the trailer for the R-rated comedy “deliberately confuses consumers into mistakenly believing that Sesame is associated with, has allowed, or has even endorsed or produced the movie and tarnishes Sesame’s brand,” and that producers have “diluted and defiled Sesame’s beloved Sesame Street children’s television show.” It seems the Sesame Workshop specifically takes issue with what they perceive as “explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets.” These images, according to the suit, could cause “irreparable injury” to the wholesome ‘Sesame Street’ brand.
The studio itself bills ‘The Happytime Murders’ as “a filthy comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist” and is even using the tagline “No Sesame, All Street.”
In fact, it appears that the Sesame Workshop isn’t trying to prevent ‘The Happytime Murders’ from being released, but wants the studio to stop referencing ‘Sesame Street’ in this marketing:
“It is only [the filmmaker’s] 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 Sesame Workshop is asking that STX Entertainment pull its current ad campaign and is asking for unspecified damages.
In the movie, McCarthy plays a human detective, Connie Edwards, who must partner with a puppet Agent Campbell, voiced by Joel McHale, to investigate the deaths of the former cast members of a classic puppet kids show.
STX Entertainment doesn’t appear to be taking the lawsuit very seriously, issuing a statement through the movie’s puppet lawyer Fred Esq.:
“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.
“Happytime Murders is the happy result of that collaboration and we’re incredibly pleased with the early reaction to the film and how well the trailer has been received by its intended audience. While we’re disappointed that Sesame Streetdoes 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.” – Fred, Esq., lawyer for STX Entertainment
STX has also released an image of Fred:
Whether or not STX changes its ad campaign, ‘The Happytime Murders’ will hit theaters on August 17, 2018. Elizabeth Banks and Maya Rudolph also star. The red band trailer has already racked up 1.7 million views on Youtube.
Source: The Blast