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. "ALL STREET", in marketing the film.
Sesame Workshop, the parent company behind the long-running show Sesame Street, argued in the complaint filed in NY on Thursday that the STX Productions' upcoming comedy starring Melissa McCarthy has "diluted and defiled" the pre-school children's program by exploiting its mark and brand in the movie trailer.
In a release before the film was made, STX said it would be produced by The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative banner, On The Day Productions, and STXfilms, along with individuals including Brian Henson, Lisa Henson, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, among others. ALL STREET.' Defendants do not own, control or have any right to use the SESAME STREET mark.
"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", the lawsuit states.
It's hard to blame Sesame Workshop for wanting to distance its beloved program from the film, which features strong language, violence, drug use, and even puppet sex, all of which are featured in the red-band trailer that was released last week.
The Muppets have been a key part of"Sesame Street since 1969
Sesame Workshop claims the movie's use of the tagline could cause "irreparable injury" to the long-running children's show's wholesome, kid-friendly brand, the Blast reported, citing the lawsuit.
So it's suing to get STX to drop the tagline and unspecified damages.
But unlike films such as Muppet Treasure Island and The Muppet Christmas Carol, which were both also directed by Brian, this film is not affiliated with the official Muppets brand.
Melissa McCarthy stars in the film, slated for August release, where humans and puppets co-exist.
In the first trailer for the film, McCarthy - who plays a police detective - can be seen exchanging dialogue with a puppet who uses vulgar language and makes sexual references to her, which the 47-year-old actress responds to by punching him.
Out of her league?