The Creators of THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS Respond To SESAME STREET Lawsuit with a Puppet Lawyer
Yesterday we reported that Sesame Street filed a lawsuit against STX Entertainment regarding their upcoming raunchy R-rated puppet film The Happytime Murders. Why? Because Sesame Workshop isn't happy with the movie using the following tagline in their marketing, "No Sesame, All Street."
The suit claims The Happytime Murders tarnishes the Sesame Street brand by using their name in the marketing. Now the creators of The Happytime Murders have responded to the lawsuit in kind of a mocking way. They sent a photo of a puppet lawyer named Fred, Esq. and they included the following response:
“STX loved the idea of working closely with Brian Henson and the Jim Henson Company to tell the untold story of the active lives of Henson puppets when they’re not performing in front of children. ‘Happytime Murders’ is the happy result of that collaboration and we’re incredibly pleased with the early reaction to the film and how well the trailer has been received by its intended audience. 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.” - Fred, Esq., lawyer for STX Entertainment
So, it looks like they are going to fight it. I'm not sure why they want to fight it. I don't see why removing the tagline "No Sesame, All Street" from the marketing would hurt anything, but it looks like they are going to fight for right to use it. In case you want a little reminder, this is what suit says:
"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. SESAME STREET is a registered trademark of Sesame, an organization with a long and storied history of ‘helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder.' Defendants’ widely-distributed marketing campaign features a just-released trailer with explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets, along with the tagline ‘NO SESAME. ALL STREET.’ Defendants do not own, control or have any right to use the SESAME STREET mark. Instead, they are distributing a trailer that 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.”
I can see where both sides are coming from, but come on... it's Sesame Street! Everyone loves Sesame Street! I think they've earned a little more respect than what STX Entertainment is giving them. That's just my opinion. All they are asking to is have that tagline removed from the marketing.
The Happytime Murders was directed by Brian Henson, previously helmed The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. He is the chairman of The Jim Henson Company and the son of esteemed puppeteer and Muppets creator Jim Henson.
What do you think about STX's response to Sesame Workshop's lawsuit? Do you think they should really fight it?