Fox News' Harris Faulkner sues Hasbro for $5 million over alleged theft of persona and likeness

The Harris Faulkner hamster "has caused substantial commercial and emotional damage" to the Fox host


Scott Eric Kaufman
September 2, 2015 5:39PM (UTC)

Deadline Hollywood's Dominic Patten reports that Fox News contributor and "Outnumbered" co-host Harris Faulkner is suing Hasbro for $5 million for stealing her name and likeness and using them in a "demeaning and insulting" fashion on an adorable hamster in its Littlest Pet Shop line of toys.

Faulkner's lawyers alerted the toy manufacturer to the problem in January, but the toy remained available on shelves and online well into the summer. (It appears to have been pulled from online retailers as of this writing.) In her 15-page filing, Faulkner's lawyers contended that "Hasbro’s manufacture, sale, and distribution of the Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll is extremely concerning and distressing to Faulkner."

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"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 filing continued. As to the legitimacy of that claim, it's worth noting that both Harris Faulkners do in fact have complexions, eyes, and are apparently wearing makeup.

Moreover, Faulkner's lawyers argued that "Hasbro’s capitalization on Faulkner’s name, likeness, identity, and persona is underscored with the display of the ‘TM’ symbol after her name and a statement on the back of the packaging that this symbol ‘denote[s] U.S. Trademark’ that -- falsely -- claims that Hasbro owns a United States trademark in ‘Harris Faulkner.'"

Most importantly, Faulkner's filing revealed that the Fox News personality doesn't want her brand associated with choking hazards -- ironic, given the response many eating lunch while watching "Outnumbered" have had. In short, "[t]his means that Hasbro misappropriated Faulkner’s name, likeness, identity, [and] persona without consent, for its own profit, for the purpose of capitalizing off of her good name and persona, all at Faulkner’s expense."

Because when you're shopping for the perfect toy for that hard-to-please child, "Does it bear a resemblance to a daytime Fox News co-host?" is the first question that pops into your head.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Fox News Harris Faulkner Hasbro Lawsuits

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