Sesame Street Creators Sue 'The Happytime Murders' Producers

Esequiel Farfan
May 28, 2018

The red band trailer seemed to go down well with audiences, but one company not keen on the joke - or, more specifically, the use of the tagline "No Sesame, All Street" - is the Sesame Workshop, the company behind the classic kid's show Sesame Street.

In their complaint, the Sesame Street creators said they have spent 50 years building its "reputation for wholesome educational programming", while the trailer for the movie depicts "explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets".

Interestingly enough, The Henson Company, which created the characters for Sesame Street, is producing Happytime Murders under its Henson Alternative banner; it is the first film in the new line of R-rated films.

The red band trailer released earlier in May features an explicit scene of two puppets having sex that involves (what appears to be) ejaculation, McCarthy's character snorting ecstasy surrounded by gangster-like puppets, and a whole lot of bad-mouthing.

THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is a filthy comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Melissa McCarthy stars as a police officer who gets a new puppet partner and is tasked with solving a series of connected murders.

"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".

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

The similarity is more than just a coincidence: Brian Henson is directing the film under the Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative banner.

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.

STX has since issued the following statement attributed to its puppet representative Fred, Esq. It features a cast of colorful puppets known as Muppets, including popular characters such as Oscar the Grouch and Bert and Ernie.

'Defendants threaten to inflict serious, irreparable damage to Sesame's mark and brand by associating their adult movie with Sesame Street'.

Sesame Street has taken legal action over the obscene new puppet movie The Happytime Murders.

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