The creators of Sesame Street have filed a lawsuit against STX Productions, the production company behind the upcoming movie The Happytime Murders. The Happytime Murders is a comedy that stars Melissa McCarthy and a puppet cast.
Sesame Street’s parent company is claiming that the marketing strategy for the film is damaging Sesame Street’s wholesome brand. The company believes that the film is depicting Sesame-Street style themes and objects to the marketing tagline: “No Sesame, All Street”.
In a report by Vanity Fair, the plaintiff’s lawsuit states that Sesame Street was spent nearly 50 years to build and maintain a level of trust with its audience of parents and young children on its reputation of providing wholesome educational programming. The lawsuit goes further to state that The defendant, STX Productions, seeks to inflict irreparable damage to Sesame’s Street trademark and brand by connecting an adult movie to the Sesame Street brand. The plaintiffs believe that the defendant was aware of what they were doing when they chose the tagline “No Sesame, All Street”. The tagline intentionally appropriated the Sesame Street’s goodwill and implies and association that does not exist to the film.
Sesame Street’s parent company is seeking unspecified damages.
STX confirmed that lawsuit after the company released the first trailer for The Happytime Murders. The production company has issued a statement that was attributed to its puppet representative Fred, Esq.
In the statement, STX expressed its joy of working with the Brian Henson and the Jim Henson Company to tell the story of the lives of Henson puppets when they aren’t performing. The film is result of that collaboration and the company expressed its happiness that the film is being received well by its intended audience. The company is disappointed that Sesame Street is not sharing in the fun, but they are confident about their legal position. STX looks forward to adult moviegoers enjoying their unapologetic and adorable characters when the movie gets released this summer.
The Happytime Murders is about a serial killer who is targeting the puppet cast from a 1980’s kid’s television show. Melissa McCarthy plays Connie Edwards, a detective who is hunting down the killer. The movie also stars Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale, and Maya Rudolph. Brian Henson, the son of Jim Henson, directed this film. The film scheduled for release on August 17th.