Sesame Street Is Suing The Happytime Murders Because Duh

Sesame Street’ creators sue over Melissa Mc Carthy flick

Sesame Workshop alleges in the lawsuit, filed on Thursday in NY state court, that STX Productions has created confusion among the public into believing the film is connected to the show and infringed on the "Sesame Street" trademark.

The people behind Sesame Street aren't all that happy about the violent new Muppet comedy, The Happytime Murders.

The Happytime Murders does have Sesame ties as it's being produced by The Jim Henson Company and is directed by Brian Henson, who also helmed several Muppet movies including The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island.

Sesame Workshop is suing STX Productions - the company behind Melissa McCarthy's new movie - claiming its marketing strategy confuses fans into mistakenly believing Sesame is in cahoots with the movie while ruining its wholesome image.

In court papers, Sesame's lawyers said Lisa Henson, chief executive and president of Henson, just days ago emailed Sesame's chief executive, Jeffrey Dunn, saying it made her "terribly sad" that the marketing campaign "has devolved to this state of affairs".

The maker of Sesame Street has taken legal action over a film it says abuses its puppets' reputations, calling it "explicit, profane and misogynistic". In their mind, the folks over at Sesame Workshop believe that because The Happytime Murders trailer "deliberately confuses" consumers into thinking that Sesame Workshop is associated with or has endorsed this R-rated comedy, the "threat of irreparable injury posed to Sesame's mark and brand can not be overstated". A brand "Sesame has worked for almost 50 years to build, cultivate and maintain trust with its audience of parents and young children built on its reputation for wholesome educational programming".

Jim Henson, whose production company was taken over by his children on his death in 1990, created numerous Muppets used in Sesame Street but the rights to the puppets were sold to Sesame Workshop in 2000. "Defendants threaten to inflict serious, irreparable damage to Sesame's mark and brand by associating their adult movie with Sesame Street". They are also seeking unspecified damages. McCarthy plays a human detective who teams with a puppet partner to investigate grisly puppet murders.

Along with Melissa, the film co-stars Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, and Elizabeth Banks.

The film, "The Happytime Murders", is scheduled for release August 17.

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