Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner is suing the Hasbro corporation for $5 million, claiming that a cartoon hamster doll that shares her name damages “her personal brand and laudable professional reputation.” The hamster, also named Harris Faulkner, is part of the latest reboot of the company’s Littlest Pet Shop brand, a line of cartoon animal dolls that appear to have been named like the kids of overachieving Generation X parents (or, we guess, like the parents of Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner). For reference, hamster Harris is sold in a package with another figurine, a Yorkie terrier who goes by the hideous sobriquet “Benson Detwyler.” (Apologies—and sympathies—to all the Benson Detwylers in the audience.)
Faulkner—the human one— has apparently been trying to get the doll discontinued for months now, claiming in her suit that, besides associating her name with a potential choking hazard—the kiss-of-death for a trust-related industry like TV news—the hamster Faulkner also bears “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.” Faulkner also suggests that the fake trademark on the figurine’s packaging means the company was attempting to trade on her good name, presumably targeting the healthy “Fox News/cartoon Cricetinae” crossover demographic.
It would actually be really weird if this was intentional plagiarism on Hasbro’s part; it seems far more likely that some poor, bored copywriter started Keyser Soze-ing things in his environment in a desperate effort to keep himself sane after too many hours spent devising Irina Snoutsley the tapir, and just had his eyes settle on an episode of Outnumbered for a little too long. Which doesn’t mean the company still shouldn’t be punished for putting a cat named Delilah Barnsley out into the world, or, God help them, a cheetah trapped with the burden of being “Chad.”