"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. Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (Melissa McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.
The maker of Sesame Street has taken legal action over a film it says abuses its puppets' reputations, calling it "explicit, profane and misogynistic".
They also accused the production company of deliberately misleading audiences into thinking that The Happytime Murders is associated with Sesame Street, and claimed the film "tarnishes Sesame's brand".
For example, you've got a muppet character literally ejaculating silly-string all over another muppet, another muppet character offering to perform fellatio on Melissa McCarthy for $50, other muppet characters forcing Melissa McCarthy to snort ecstasy at gunpoint - and that's only the parts we know about.
STX has since issued the following statement attributed to its puppet representative Fred, Esq.
Heavy rain, wind from Subtropical Storm Alberto begin to roll in overnight
Parts of the Alabama and Florida coast were placed under a tropical storm warning Saturday afternoon with MS still under a watch. The storm had top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour was expected to strengthen as it moves over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
"No Sesame. All Street", is the movie's tagline on promotional material.
The Happytime Murders is now scheduled to be released in August, and stars Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Katherine Heigl, Joel McHale and Elizabeth Banks.
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. "We resisted creative suggestions to make some characters look more like Anything Muppets or Muppet monsters, because that was exactly wrong for the movie".
"While we're disappointed that 'Sesame Street' does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position", it added.
The Happytime Murders is set for an August 17, 2018 release.