'Sesame Street' Sues Filmmakers Behind 'The Happytime Murders' Over Vulgar Trailer
The children's program took issue with the tagline, "No Sesame. All Street" in particular.
"The Happytime Murders," depicts puppets doing drugs, engaging in sex acts and violence and nothing like you've ever seen on "Sesame Street."
The producers of the long-running kids program are now suing the producers behind "The Happytime Murders," saying they have been left "speechless” and blasted the film's trailer as "practically pornographic."
Sesame Workshop, the creators of “Sesame Street,” are claiming trademark infringement over a tagline of the movie: "No Sesame. All Street."
"Parody and satire are legally protected, but it is not a stretch to say that this trailer, this depiction of the characters, could cause a lot of confusion in the mind of consumers and associate the characters with raunchy stuff and sex," legal expert Royal Oakes told Inside Edition.
The lawsuit against STX Entertainment accuses the movie of "defiling" the beloved characters of the children’s show.
"For the tagline in the trailer to be ‘No Sesame. All Street' — it is clever, but it causes people to associate the whole project with 'Sesame Street' and that is going to mean big legal trouble for the makers of the movie," Oakes added.
"The Happytime Murders" is actually directed by the son of the late Jim Henson, who created The Muppets and some of "Sesame Street's most beloved characters, including Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
Henson's daughter, Lisa, is the movie’s executive producer. She is apologizing for the way the film is being marketed.
"Trading off the famous Muppets to sell the film is exactly what we did not want to happen," she said in a statement to The Washington Post.
STX cheekily issued a statement from its lawyer, a puppet lawyer named Fred, Esq., Tuesday.
"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," the statement read.
The movie opens in theaters on August 17.
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