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'Sesame Street' creators sue 'The Happytime Murders' over trailer

Posted at 1:26 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 16:26:57-04

It's a legal battle between the sweet "Sesame Street" stars and the foul-mouthed puppets of the upcoming movie, "The Happytime Murders."

The latter film stars Melissa McCarthy and takes place in a world where humans and puppets co-exist. The film is rated "R" for "pervasive language including sexual references, violent images, and some drug use" according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

"Sesame Street" creators are suing the production company of "The Happytime Murders," called STX, over these four words in the trailer: "No Sesame. All Street."

"When you say, 'No Sesame. All Street.' and it's a movie with puppets, automatically it creates brand confusion," explained legal analyst Areva Martin. "To have a movie that has such profane language and very explicit scenes, it's pretty shocking to think this movie would somehow be related to Sesame Street."

Sesame Workshop, creators of the classic children's show, states that STX "initiated a marketing campaign that seeks to capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of 'Sesame Street' to market their movie."

The film is directed by Brian Henson and executive produced by Lisa Henson - the son and daughter of the late legendary Muppet creator Jim Henson. So far they have not commented.

But STX Films issued a tongue-in-cheek statement from their fictional attorney, Fred Esq., saying "While we're disappointed that 'Sesame Street' does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position. We look forward to introducing adult moviegoers to our adorably unapologetic characters this summer."