Sesame Street Creators Sue Over Melissa McCarthy's Puppet Movie

Sex scene The R-rated murder-mystery is set in a world where humans and puppets co-exist much like previous The Muppets movies

Sex scene The R-rated murder-mystery is set in a world where humans and puppets co-exist much like previous The Muppets movies

The makers of Sesame Street are suing the promoter of a new Melissa McCarthy movie, saying it's abusing the famed puppets' sterling reputation to advertise the R-rated film.

Brian Henson, son of late Sesame Street creator Jim Henson, directed the new movie, while daughter Lisa Henson is the executive producer.

In this undated photo, Melissa McCarthy is seen standing next to her puppet co-star in "The Happytime Murders".

A cheeky statement from STX widely circulated on U.S. media - attributed to a lawyer puppet named Fred, Esq. - said that "while we're disappointed that "Sesame Street" does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position".

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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.

Sesame Street characters, clockwise from bottom left, Grover, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch. "While we're disappointed that Sesame Street does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position", the statement reads, adding that the STX "loved the idea" of joining forces with Brian Henson and the Jim Henson Company "to tell the untold story of the active lives of Henson puppets" away from children's eyes.

Big Bird is watching, so clean up your act, Sesame Workshop warns, and they're not just being Oscar the Grouch here.

The tagline that has been used across social media, and the trailer, is, "No Sesame".

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But it's not the film's use of profane puppets that "Sesame Street" is upset about. "All street" - "deliberately confuses consumers".

Specifically they state that they will lose the ability to 'cultivate and maintain trust with its audience of parents and young children'. "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".

"But [STX Entertainment] can not impermissibly appropriate and trade on Sesame's mark, brand, and goodwill to market a movie that has no nexus to Sesame Street".

Sesame Workshop seeks a permanent injunction on the use of its marks in connection with the marketing of The Happytime Murders.

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So it's suing to get STX to drop the tagline and unspecified damages.

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