Fox News Anchor Harris Faulkner is suing Hasbro, Inc. over a Harris Faulkner hamster doll, reports the Courthouse News Service.
The Harris Faulkner hamster doll was first available in 2014 as part of the “Littlest Pet Shop” “Pet Pausabilities” line. Other celebrities with dolls seemingly named after them include Dylan McDermott, for which the “Dash McDernutt” doll appears to based and Rosie Perez, for which the “Siesta Perez” doll appears to based.
The Fox News anchor was the subject of news headlines across the Internet today as word of the $5 million lawsuit against Hasbro spread. Mention of the Harris Faulkner hamster doll appears to have been scrubbed from the Hasbro website.
In the 15-page document, made available by Deadline, outlining the suit, Faulkner’s attorney states the basis for her claim.
“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. Without Faulkner’s prior knowledge or consent, Defendant Hasbro, Inc. (‘Hasbro’), a multi-billion dollar toy company, willfully and wrongfully appropriated Faulkner’s unique and valuable name and distinctive persona for its own financial gain—by creating, manufacturing, and distributing for sale a plastic toy hamster named ‘Harris Faulkner’ as part of Hasbro’s “Littlest Pet Shop” product line (the ‘Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll’).”
Faulkner has been a reporter and weekend anchor with Fox News for over 10 years and has been awarded six Emmy Awards. Faulkner has also hosted the Fox program A Current Affair and the Fox current affairs program The Nancy Grace Show.
The Fox News anchor “put Hasbro on notice” in January of 2015 that the Harris Faulkner hamster doll infringed not only on her name, but also on her likeness. Faulkner’s suit states that the portrayal of the acclaimed news journalist as a hamster is “demeaning and insulting.”
The hamster doll was packaged together with another named “Benson Detwyler” that also appeared on the Littlest Pet Shop television program. It is not clear who the Benson Detwyler doll may portray, if anyone. The Harris Faulkner hamster character did not appear in the television show.
“The packaging also contains a warning that the Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll is a ‘CHOKING HAZARD,'” the lawsuit states.
Julie Duffy, a spokesperson for Hasbro, was quoted by the BBC with regard to the choking concerns, stating that the toys, “meet and exceed all safety standards.”
The news anchor was referred to as a “rising star” with Fox, in a New York Times article.
Jay Wallace, a Fox senior vice-president of news referred to Faulkner as, “a go-to person around here.”
[Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images]