ESC

‘Sesame Street’ Owners Are Mad That Other Puppets Get Laid

Have you seen the red band trailer for The Happytime Murders yets? It’s kind of like Who Framed Roger Rabbit meets The Muppets meets Judd Apatow.

Turns out that the tag “No Sesame. All Street.” caught the attention of Sesame Workshop, and as reported by TheWrap, they’re suing STX Productions for misuse of their trademark, claiming it harms their brand.

“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. SESAME STREET is a registered trademark of Sesame, an organization with a long and storied history of ‘helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder,’” the suit, filed against STX Productions, reads. “Defendants’ widely-distributed marketing campaign features a just-released trailer with explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets, along with the tagline ‘NO SESAME. ALL STREET.’ Defendants do not own, control or have any right to use the SESAME STREET mark. Instead, they are distributing a trailer that deliberately confuses consumers into mistakenly believing that Sesame is associated with, has allowed, or has even endorsed or produced the movie and tarnishes Sesame’s brand.”

[…]

The complaint goes on to allege that “a parade of social media posts, emails and public comments” indicates that the tagline “has confused and appalled viewers because of what they believe to be a serious breach of trust by Sesame by supporting this movie. Defendant’s actions have diluted and defiled Sesame’s beloved Sesame Street children’s television show and SESAME STREET mark by associating their trailer with Sesame Street.”

I don’t know how strong Sesame Workshop’s case is here, there’s nothing in that trailer that Elmo didn’t do with some teenager.

STX gave TheWrap a statement on the lawsuit, but seemed to avoid mentioning the use of the Sesame Street trademark, which is the thing the lawsuit is about.

“STX loved the idea of working closely with Brian Henson and the Jim Henson Company to tell the untold story of the active lives of Henson puppets when they’re not performing in front of children. Happytime Murders is the happy result of that collaboration and we’re incredibly pleased with the early reaction to the film and how well the trailer has been received by its intended audience,” said Fred. “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.”

All these adult Muppet projects tend to flop. Did you watch The Muppets on ABC a few seasons ago about the fall-out of Kermit and Piggy breaking up? Yeah, neither did anyone else. I don’t think the problem is that it didn’t have enough cum jokes, but I guess we’ll find out if that’s the case on August 17th when The Happytime Murders releases.

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