Today is brought to you by the letter “L”…seen in the words Legal and Lawsuit.
Last week we posted the trailer for the new Melissa McCarthy film, The Happytime Murders, and talked about how outrageously hilarious it looked. Well, the makers of Sesame Street were definitely not laughing. In the film’s trailer, we are shown a world where puppets have sex, use foul language. and even commit murder. McCarthy plays Detective Edwards who is partnered with the puppet, Detective Phil Phillips, as the pair must find who is responsible for the murders of the cast of “The Happytime Gang.” Through the trailer, we are shown a bunch of filthy jokes, puppet hookers, and even puppet ejaculation. It was all of those things in conjunction with the film’s tagline “No Sesame. All Street,” that seemed to really ruffle the fur of the makers of Sesame Street. In a public statement the Sesame Workshop said:
“We take no issue with the creative freedom of the filmmakers and their right to make and promote this movie, rather this is about how our name is being misused to market a film with which we have no association.”
On Thursday, May 24th, the Sesame Workshop filed a lawsuit against STX Films in an attempt to have the film use “corrective advertising.” The Sesame Workshop feels that the trailer, which demonstrated “profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets,” along with the tagline, tarnishes the Sesame Street brand. Before the trailer debuted, The Workshop reached out to STX to ask them to remove the tagline, but that request was denied.
STX Films has made it clear that while the puppets used in the film are from the Jim Henson Company, they have no correlation to the puppets from The Muppets or Sesame Street. In a counter statement they said:
“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.”
It looks like this situation can not be remedied by a few puppets singing about conflict resolution. We will stay tuned to see if STX makes any adjustments to their marketing, and if any of this hubbub will affect box office sales. The trailer is posted below, so take a look and decide what side of the suit you stand on.