When American Apparel announced it was doing a Sesame Street t-shirt line, the porntastic company told a story about how the program approached them, begging for its beloved characters to get screen-printed onto Disco Shorts, or whatever. That wasn't true.
Says a Sesame Street spokesperson (via an email forwarded to us by a tipster):
As you may know, we are a nonprofit education organization that produces Sesame Street and we license to manufacturing companies the rights to make products using our characters. In this case, our licensee is a manufacturing company called Might Fine and they manufacture a line of Sesame Street shirts which are sold at American Apparel stores.
So this is a sub-licensing deal. Sesame Street licensed its name, and gave access to artwork, to a t-shirt manufacturer — we think the one the company actually means is an outfit called Mighty Fine, which also sells licensed Disney apparel and those "Mustache Brigade" shirts; Big Bird obviously doesn't look too closely at the names on the royalty checks — which then granted a sub-license to American Apparel.
We do not have a direct relationship with American Apparel and we did not approve the press release that was issued by American Apparel.
Which means that this bit of PR purple prose the t-shirt company gave us at the time is, well, how to put it — a big, fat lie.
Sesame Street, which for nearly half a century has made a mission of educating children in more than 120 countries, approached American Apparel earlier this year with the show's entire catalog of graphics. The two companies immediately connected over the different but passionate ideologies that drive them and set about working together.
Sesame Street didn't "approach" American Apparel at all, and nor was the line the result of an epiphanic realization of mutual accord on the "ideological" front. Perhaps that should be comforting.
Photo illustration by Tracie
Related: American Apparel and Sesame Street Collaborate on Unique Line of T-Shirts [PRNewswire]
Mighty Fine [Official Site]