Premiering in the UK on August 17, the R-rated buddy-cop comedy comes from Brian Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson, and is set in a world where humans and Sesame Street–style puppets coexist. McCarthy stars as a police officer tasked with solving a string of murders alongside her new puppet partner.
Court documents filed by Sesame Workshop claim that the film “tarnishes” the Sesame brand with the “explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets” seen in the trailer, according to The Wrap. Specifically, the organisation is suing STX Entertainment for using the tagline “No Sesame. All Street.” in the movie’s promotional materials.
So what does STX Entertainment do to fight back? They bring in an puppet legal expert to defend their case. Literally. Through their new representation, a puppet lawyer Fred, Esq., the entertainment company released a statement in response to the suit.
According to Fred, no last name given, “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.” He continued on to say: “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.”
In other words, Fred and STX Entertainment just told Sesame Workshop to stuff it.