Harris Faulkner, the woman, is currently hosting the Sunday evening newscast and the daytime show Outnumbered. She has been with Fox News for ten years and, as her legal filing describes, “is a nationally known, six-time Emmy award-winning journalist.” Harris Faulkner, the hamster, was introduced in 2014 as a character in Hasbro’s product line “Littlest Pet Shop” is available in stores across the country and internationally. This has resulted in a lawsuit.
Faulkner’s filings have several charges against Hasbro. The first is the unauthorized use on Hasbro’s part of Faulker’s name and likeness, given that “elements of the Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll also bear 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 second issue is that the presence of a trademark symbol after the toy’s name falsely implies that the Hasbro company owns the U.S. trademark on the name “Harris Faulkner.”
And the third issue is that Faulkner is “distressed” that she is being depicted as a small rodent and that they’re linking her name to a product that’s “a known choking hazard that risks harming small children.” Lastly, she claims that, as journalists cannot endorse commercial products, Hasbro using her “creates the false impression that Faulkner would impugn her own professional ethics by having a commercial product named after her.”
Faulkner demanded back in January that Hasbro stop selling the toy hamster, but they have not done so, hence the lawsuit. She is asking for $5.0 million, plus all proceeds derived from the Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll, and for Hasbro to be restrained from using her name and likeness any further.
Hasbro’s spokeswoman could not comment about anything to do with the pending litigation, but objected to the claim that the toy hamster was a choking hazard.
“Fox News Anchor Harris Faulkner Sues Hasbro over Hamster Toy,” BBC News web site, September 2, 2015.
“Harris Faulkner v. Hasbro, Inc.,” 2015, United States District Court District of New Jersey. Civil Action No. 15- Complaint.
Image Source: Flickr; Image copyright 2011,Mooshuu