Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

'Sesame Street' creators sue backer of raunchy puppet film

'Sesame Street' creators sue backer of raunchy puppet film

Brian Henson, the son of Jim Henson, directed the movie.

Though Sesame Street Workshop has filed their lawsuit, they aren't the only ones turning to legal action.

The suit that Sesame Workshop filed in NY on Thursday (as reported by The Wrap) alleges that The Happytime Murders' trailer "tarnishes" the Sesame brand because it promoted the movie with the tagline "No Sesame, All Street", which is deemed an unauthorized use of the Sesame Street mark.

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 elder Henson's Muppets - including characters Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie and Big Bird - have been a key feature of "Sesame Street" since the show launched on public television in 1969.

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.

"The Happytime Murders" is an R-rated buddy-cop movie set in a world where humans and Sesame Street-style puppets co-exist.

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Further, the lawsuit contends the "Sesame Street" brand will be harmed by a just-released movie trailer featuring "explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating and even ejaculating puppets" along with the tagline "NO SESAME".

"Sesame has demanded that Defendants simply drop the references to Sesame Street from The Happytime Murders marketing materials - a relatively small burden compared to the devastating and irreparable injury Defendants are causing", the complaint stated (read it here).

'Defendants threaten to inflict serious, irreparable damage to Sesame's mark and brand by associating their adult movie with Sesame Street'. That trust, although built over a span of generations, is too easily lost and is now in jeopardy.

While the lawsuit against the film refers to it as "incredibly crude", Sesame Workshop isn't seeking to stop promotion of the film, just the removal of the tag line, adding that the association between the two has "confused and appalled viewers".

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.

The lawsuit also asks for punitive damages and a jury trial.

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