Sesame Street sues over violent, puppet-based Happytime Murders film

26 May, 2018, 21:26 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Melissa McCarthy's next movie

The makers of children's program Sesame Street are suing the production company behind a new R-rated movie depicting Muppet-like characters swearing, having sex and taking drugs.

This whole issue is a bit ironic and unusual, because The Happytime Murders was written and directed by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, whose famous Muppets are still featured on the show to this day.

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

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in New York City, Sesame Workshop alleges that "The Happytime Murders" is abusing the famed Muppets' sterling reputation in its advertisements.

"Sesame seeks to enjoin Defendants" deliberate effort to appropriate its SESAME STREET mark, and its trusted brand and goodwill, to promote their R-rated movie, "The Happytime Murders, ' by way of a violent and sexually-explicit trailer", the lawsuit states. McCarthy plays a human detective who teams with a puppet partner to investigate grisly puppet murders.

This image released by the Sesame Workshop shows the cast of
The Muppets have been a key part of"Sesame Street since 1969

Henson died in 1990 at age 53.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the company has taken issue with The Happytime Murders' tagline which is "NO SESAME, ALL STREET", and claim that the movie has "diluted and defiled Sesame's beloved Sesame Street children's television show". Producers for Sesame Street Workshop filed the lawsuit on grounds the movie used their name in the tagline without permission. SESAME STREET is a registered trademark of Sesame, an organization with a long and storied history of "helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder". "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".

In a release before the film was made, STX had said it would be produced by The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative banner, On The Day productions and STX films, with Brian Henson and Lisa Henson.

"While we're disappointed that "Sesame Street" does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position", it added. Some people have left comments on social media indicating their confusion about who was behind the film and mistakenly believed Sesame Street endorsed the film.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

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