Sesame Workshop, the American organisation behind the creation of the Sesame Street series and related media, are suing STX Productions LLC, the distributors and promoters of the movie The Happytime Murders. According to the Sesame Workshop, the Melissa McCarthy-starrer R-rated movie is destroying the reputation of the kids-friendly Sesame Street brand. Sesame Workshop, in their lawsuit, has expressed discontent against the film’s makers using the tagline “No sesame, all street” in particular, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film’s trailer, released on May 18, features puppets having sex, consuming drugs, being violent and spouting abuses. In one sequence, a puppet prostitute propositions McCarthy’s character to try out her “rotten cotton”. The movie will be released on August 17.
The official synopsis of the film, directed by Brian Henson, states it to be a “filthy comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist”. Two detectives, a human played by McCarthy and a puppet, join forces to solve the murders of the former puppets-filled cast of a beloved television show.
Brian Henson is the son of Jim and Jane Henson, the creators of The Muppets, the group of globally popular puppets who have been part of the Sesame Street series since 1969. Brian Henson has been the executive producer and director of several films and television series featuring the Muppets. He runs The Jim Henson Company, which also operates Henson Alternative, which makes adult puppetry shows.