In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, Faulkner alleges toy manufacturing giant Hasbro stole her likeness to make a toy hamster of the same name for its “Littlest Pet Shop” line in 2014, going so far as to mimic the six-time Emmy-winning reporter’s “traditional professional appearance.”
The suit, which Courthouse News reports is seeking $5 million in damages, calls out similarities between Faulkner and the toy in terms of "complexion, the shape of its eyes, and the design of its eye makeup" as evidence for the identity theft.
The suit notes that it's "demeaning and insulting" to portray Faulkner as a hamster. The toy is also labeled a "choking hazard," the suit says, distressing Faulkner for being wrongly associated with possibly "harming small children."
According to The Associated Press, Hasbro sold the toy alongside a terrier named Benson Detwyler for quite some time, despite Faulkner demanding they stop using her name. While Hasbro has ceased selling the toy directly, it's still available via various third-party stores. Other animals in the line include Pancakes Watkins, Puffball Petrovsky and Pepper Clark.
In an emailed statement to The Huffington Post, Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy declined to comment on the pending litigation, but took issue with Harris' suit questioning the safety of the "Littlest Pet Shop" line.
"The Littlest Pet Shop product identified, and all products in the Littlest Pet Shop line, meet and exceed all safety standards," she said.