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Judge sweeps clouds away for makers of R-rated puppet movie

AP LogoNEW YORK (AP) — A judge in New York ruled Wednesday against the makers of “Sesame Street” in a dispute with the distributor of the upcoming Melissa McCarthy movie, “The Happytime Murders.”

U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick ruled that distributor STX Productions can continue to use the tagline “No sesame. All street” in promoting the R-rated film, which features Muppet-like puppets in a comedic crime story.

Sesame Workshop sued last week, seeking to end the inclusion of the tagline in promotional materials ahead of the film’s Aug. 17 release. The company argued the public would be confused and think the movie was supported by “Sesame Street.”

The judge heard oral arguments before issuing his ruling. He said Sesame Workshop didn’t demonstrate that moviegoers were confused or that sponsors or parents were complaining.

“We fluffing love Sesame Street and we’re obviously very pleased that the ruling reinforced what STX’s intention was from the very beginning — to honor the heritage of The Jim Henson Company’s previous award-winning creations while drawing a clear distinction between any Muppets or Sesame Street characters and the new world Brian Henson and team created,” STX said in statement.


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