A former Twin Cities journalist is suing toy giant Hasbro for selling a toy hamster with the same name, calling the plastic rodent "demeaning and insulting".
Harris Faulkner, who was a news anchor at KSTP from 2000 to 2004 and now appears on the Fox News Channel, is seeking $5 million from Hasbro for false endorsement and right of publicity, claiming the toy company used her unique name and likeness without her permission for its own financial gain, Courthouse News Service reports.
According to the suit, Hasbro's portrayal of Faulkner as a rodent is "demeaning and insulting" and the "manufacture, sale and distribution" of the hamster toy is "extremely concerning and distressing" to the journalist.
The lawsuit claims not only did Hasbro use her name without permission, but also made the hamster look like the journalist.
"Elements of the ... 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 lawsuit says.
The toy's packaging warning that it's a "choking hazard" is also upsetting to Faulkner, the lawsuit notes.
The lawsuit claims Faulkner "put Hasbro on notice" that using her name and likeness was illegal and unauthorized in January of this year, but a month later the plastic hamster doll was still available for sale on Hasbro's website.
Now however, the hamster doll is no longer for sale there, but the product can be found elsewhere online, the suit notes.
Hasbro has not commented on the lawsuit, the New York Daily News reports.