Fox anchor sues Hasbro over likeness to toy hamster

Fox News' Harris Faulkner says US company appropriated her name and likeness with its Harris Faulkner hamster character.

    Faulkner said Hasbro's alleged portrayal of her as a rodent was 'demeaning and insulting' [AP/Hasbro]
    Faulkner said Hasbro's alleged portrayal of her as a rodent was 'demeaning and insulting' [AP/Hasbro]

    An anchor for Fox News is suing Hasbro for more than $5m over a toy hamster that shares her name and possibly even her resemblance.

    Harris Faulkner sued the US company this week over its plastic Harris Faulkner hamster, sold as part of its popular Littlest Pet Shop line.

    Faulkner says the toy wrongfully appropriates her name and persona, harms her professional credibility as a journalist, and is an insult.

    "Hasbro's portrayal of Faulkner as a rodent is demeaning and insulting," says the lawsuit against the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company, which was filed on Monday in a US court.

    Faulkner, who has been at Fox News for a decade, hosts the daytime show "Outnumbered" and anchors a Sunday evening newscast.

    Her lawsuit says that in addition to sharing her name, the toy bears a physical resemblance to Faulkner's traditional professional appearance, including its complexion, eye shape and eye makeup design.

    'Choking hazard'

    The Harris Faulkner toy was introduced in 2014, according to the lawsuit, and was sold in a package as the pet hamster of a terrier named Benson Detwyler.

    Other toys in the popular line include animals named Pancakes Watkins, Puffball Petrovsky and Pepper Clark.

    The lawsuit says Faulkner never gave permission for Hasbro to use her name or likeness and that she even demanded in January that Hasbro stop using it.

    More than three weeks later, it was still for sale on Hasbro's website, the lawsuit contends.

    It says that as of July, Faulkner's name was still being used on a Hasbro website to sell Littlest Pet Shop products, and the plastic hamster that bears her name can still be bought at other online retail stores.

    Julie Duffy, a Hasbro spokeswoman, said the company does not comment on litigation, but she took issue with the lawsuit's contention that the doll is a "known choking hazard that risks harming small children".

    "The Littlest Pet Shop product identified, and all products in the Littlest Pet Shop line, meet and exceed all safety standards," Duffy said.

    Faulkner is seeking $5m in damages and lawyer fees, plus any profits the company made on the toy.

    SOURCE: AP


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