Promotion for a new raunchy puppet crime comedy has the group behind the beloved children's TV series "Sesame Street" in Oscar-the-Grouch mode - and they're suing on claims the film "tarnishes" the educational show's brand.
According to documents obtained by E!
The creators of the iconic children's show also alleged that the film's tagline, "No Sesame, All Street", leads audiences to believe there is a "connection to the show".
"It is only [the] defendants" deliberate choice to invoke and commercially misappropriate "Sesame's" name and goodwill in marketing the movie - and thereby cause consumers to conclude that "Sesame" is somehow associated with the movie - that has infringed on and tarnished the "Sesame Street' mark and goodwill", it reads. "While the trailer at issue is nearly indescribably crude, Sesame is not trying to enjoin defendants' promotion or distribution of their movie", the suit states.
The first trailer for the film was released earlier this month, and depicts the characters - some of whom resemble Sesame Street figures - engaging in some very adult activities.
Jim Henson, whose production company was taken over by his children on his death in 1990, created numerous Muppets used in Sesame Street but the rights to the puppets were sold to Sesame Workshop in 2000.
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A judge Friday scheduled a hearing next week to consider a request for immediate relief by Sesame Workshop, which sued Thursday in federal court for unspecified damages.
The film-which co-stars Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, and Elizabeth Banks-is set to hit theaters August 17.
In a statement released to media after the lawsuit filing, STX - via a muppet named Fred, Esq. - said that they "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".
Sesame Street has taken legal action over the obscene new puppet movie The Happytime Murders.
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