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Sesame Street Sues Over Film With 'Ejaculating Puppets'

Trailer suggests Sesame's endorsement, suit claims
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2018 9:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – The first trailer for an R-rated movie starring Melissa McCarthy and a bunch of drug-sniffing, sex-crazed puppets notes it's "No Sesame. All Street." But the makers of Sesame Street aren't sure viewers will get the message. Sesame Workshop, which produces the kids show, is suing STX Entertainment over The Happytime Murders, in which McCarthy plays a police detective trying "to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show," per CNN. Filed in New York on Thursday, the lawsuit argues the tagline featured in the trailer "with explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets ... 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 threat of irreparable injury posed to Sesame's mark [cannot] be overstated," the suit continues, per E! News. STX remains as defiant as the film's "adorably unapologetic characters," though. "While we're disappointed that Sesame Street does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position," the company says in a statement attributed to a puppet lawyer, noting it worked with director Brian Henson, son of late Muppets creator Jim Henson, "to tell the untold story of the active lives of Henson puppets when they're not performing in front of children." At the Toronto Star, Vinay Menon says "it's doubtful a tagline in [a] filthy comedy will cause any damage to a show that now runs on HBO, home to content that is not always family-friendly." He adds The Happytime Murders will likely benefit from "a heap of free publicity." It's due out in August. (Read more movies stories.)

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