Fox news anchor Harris Faulkner, who has won an Emmy over her coverage of everything from presidential elections to the fall of world leaders, is suing the toy company Hasbro for the use of her name and likeness on a toy hamster.
In a $5 million lawsuit filed in a federal court, Harris Faulkner says she has suffered “emotional damage” after the company gave her name to a character in its popular Littlest Pet Shop toy line, according to The New York Post.
The Independent reports that the Hasbro toy is a small tan-and-white hamster with blue eyes and a butterfly perched on its head and is named Harris Faulkner. Court papers filed on behalf of the Emmy-award-winning journalist say she is upset over being portrayed as a rodent.
“Hasbro’s portrayal of Faulkner as a rodent is demeaning and insulting. In addition to its prominent and unauthorized use of Faulkner’s name, elements of the Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll also bear a physical resemblance to Faulkner’s traditional professional appearance, in particular tone of its complexion, the shape of its eyes, and the design of its eye makeup.”
— The Independent (@Independent) September 2, 2015
According to NBC News, lawyers for Faulkner say the little hamster “willfully and wrongfully appropriated Faulkner’s unique and valuable name and distinctive persona for its own financial gain.”
The toy is particularly degrading to Faulkner, who believes the toy hamster with her likeness and name could diminish her credibility as an esteemed journalist.
“Harris Faulkner, the uniquely named, acclaimed veteran journalist and author, has worked for decades to establish and maintain her personal brand and laudable professional reputation. Hasbro’s manufacture, sale, and distribution of the Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll is extremely concerning and distressing to Faulkner” and “has caused substantial commercial and emotional damage to [her].”
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) September 2, 2015
Harris Faulkner the toy was introduced by Hasbro in 2014. Faulkner reportedly told the toy company she put them on notice in early 2015 that the toy infringed on her name and likeness but says the company continued to sell the hamster for months.
The toy is no longer listed on the company’s Web site. However, it can still be found on Amazon and through other online sites.
Ever the vigilant investigative reporter, Harris Faulkner maintains that the fur on the toy rodent “is a known choking hazard.”
[Image via Instagram/Harris Faulkner]