BACK TO TOP. When they showed up on set in 2018 to film a public service campaign for the Ad Council, Walkowicz was excited to support the mission of inspiring middle school girls. Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz would much rather talk about space than American Girl dolls. The lawsuit claims that Rebecca DeKuiper, who was a lead designer of American Girl’s “Girl of the Year” brand, attended Walkowicz’s Monona Terrace appearance with other American Girl employees. The lawsuit claims that Rebecca DeKuiper, who was a lead designer of American Girl's "Girl of the Year" brand, attended Walkowicz's Monona Terrace appearance with other American Girl employees. For Walkowicz, the case underscores some of the lesser-known tensions in being openly nonbinary within STEM fields. From the purple streak in her hair to the holographic shoes she wears, a Chicago astronomer says doll-maker American Girl stole her likeness and adapted her name to create a popular astronaut doll. One of those NASA consultants attended a conference that year in Pittsburgh where Walkowicz spoke, the lawsuit states. “It was not just the superficial details of this doll,” they tell me in one of the only interviews they’ve granted on the subject. them, a next-generation community platform, chronicles and celebrates the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community. American Girl said in a statement that it “takes great pride in creating original characters for girls. Her 2015 TED Talk called "Let's Not Use Mars as a Backup Planet," on the ethics of Mars exploration, has been viewed at least 2.2 million times on the TED website, the lawsuit states. Shop our selection of dolls, books, and more that help build girls of strong character. A Chicago astronomer is suing the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. General help. Walkowicz acknowledges that these endeavors often brush over the nuanced stories of trans, gender diverse, and queer STEM professionals, who occupy so very few seats at the table of powerful scientists. The doll's dark hair also has a purple streak on the right side, and holographic shoes. Play on with help and healing from our expert medical staff. American Girl filed for a "Luciana" trademark in November 2016, which was granted the following year. American Girl's 2018 Girl of the Year was Luciana Vega, described on the doll-maker's website as “an aspiring astronaut ready to take the next giant leap to Mars.”. The lawsuit outlines several instances when American Girl employees and consultants were exposed to Walkowicz’s research before the Luciana Vega doll emerged. But with the doll drawing so heavily on their public persona, they say the doll’s deliberate femininity and popularity reinforces “a version of me that is also not accurate.”. TED / American Girl. In 2017, the company also introduced Logan, its first doll marketed as having a male gender. ... MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Chicago astronomer has sued the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. Grown-ups. Accessories sold with Luciana Vega include a telescope projector set and a “Mars Habitat.”. MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Chicago astronomer has sued the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll.. One longtime friend glanced at the company’s January/February 2018 catalog while flipping through her mail. “She spotted what appeared to be me on the cover,” Walkowicz recalls. But an uncanny resemblance between the real-life scientist and a recent toy from the Mattel-owned company has dominated many of Walkowicz’s conversations since American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year descended from Good Morning America’s studio ceiling, met by an adoring crowd of young girls dressed in blue astronaut suits. Shipping delays are mounting. Find dolls for girls that she will love from American Girl – 18-inch Hictorial Characters, Truly Me, and Girl of the Year, plus 15-inch dolls Bitty Baby and WellieWishers. Mudd filed a federal trademark lawsuit for his client in late April. Her lawsuit seeks to bar sales of American Girl's Luciana Vega doll and accessories, as well as unspecified damages. Skip to content. Walkowicz’s attorney, Charles Mudd Jr., said there had been prior discussions with Mattel about the matter, but that the “filing of the litigation should be indicative” of how those went. Debating Dan Fogelberg’s ‘Same Old Lang Syne’: Beloved holiday classic, or worst thing to come out of Peoria? Read more Be in the know about the … Walkowicz has often discussed Vega, the lawsuit states. Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz is suing the maker of American Girl dolls, saying the company stole her likeness to create their astronaut doll, “Luciana Vega.”Walkowicz is an astronomer and TED Senior Fellow at the Adler Planetarium and says she has spoken many times about Mars — including in a TED talk that was viewed over 2 million times — and about Vega, the brightest star in … Get the best of what's queer. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Column: We didn’t just hate the Dr. Jill Biden op-ed by Joseph Epstein for its condescension. Why didn’t they happen sooner? Walkowicz says they’re often the only nonbinary person at consequential board meetings and on conference speaking schedules. MADISON — A Chicago astronomer has sued the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. A ‘comfortable’ Mitch Trubisky has had a voice in some of the changes to the Chicago Bears offense. It ended in 2018. MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Chicago astronomer has sued the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. “American Girl takes great pride in creating original characters for girls,” a representative said in an email “We take any allegations to the contrary extremely seriously and intend to defend the case vigorously.”, If the lookalike doll wasn’t enough of a headache, the fact that it’s marketed so heavily as a cisgender girl has caused misgendering migraines for Walkowicz, who had begun opening up publicly about being nonbinary when the doll was released. Among the places where Walkowicz has lectured was the Monona Terrace convention center, where she spoke in 2014 about the Kepler mission. In October 2016, American Girl doll consultant and NASA scientist Ellen Stofan appeared at the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Walkowicz also spoke; one month later, American Girl filed a trademark for “Luciana.”, A Mattel PR responded by saying that they could not “comment on pending litigation,” per corporate policy. Lucianne Walkowicz is one of the most widely-seen figures in science today. Editorial: Pritzker makes needed budget cuts, but why blame the voters? Vega — a name Walkowicz has publicly uttered many times — happens to be the brightest star in that constellation. According to the trademark lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin, Walkowicz has lectured extensively on Mars exploration and done “considerable research” with the Kepler mission on the constellation Lyra, which contains Vega as its brightest star. In this Aug. 5, 2015 photo, astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz looks at solar flares on the sun through a telescope at the Adler Planetarium's observatory in Chicago. Shop . Lucianne M. Walkowicz, a TED senior fellow at the Adler Planetarium who has spent much of her career with NASA’s Kepler mission, is asking in a lawsuit filed late Wednesday that Middleton, Wisconsin-based American Girl and its parent company, Mattel, stop selling the Luciana Vega doll, which first appeared in 2018. Call Us. When the Luciana Vega doll premiered, ads for it included a quote from Ellen Stofan, a NASA consultant who attended the Pittsburgh conference where Walkowicz spoke, the lawsuit states. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. “She called me, ‘Please tell me how this happened.’” Walkowicz had no answer other than: “Oh my god, it’s me.”. The first five: How a Chicago hospital picked its first COVID-19 vaccination recipients, Second stimulus check updates: Negotiators near agreement on COVID-19 relief bill that includes direct payments — but no deal quite yet, Second stimulus check updates: No COVID-19 relief deal yet — and time is ticking, Melissa McGurren, Eric Ferguson’s morning show co-host, on leaving WTMX: ‘The truth will come out’, Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area, Mayor Lori Lightfoot apologizes for wrongful raid, said it was a mistake to try to stop CBS from airing body camera video. ©2020 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.), Visit The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) at www.wisconsinstatejournal.com. Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz is seen Aug. 5, 2015, outside the Adler Planetarium's observatory in Chicago. If for any reason you don't, we'll try to find a way to make it right with an exchange, merchandise credit, or refund within two years of purchase. Doll Hospital. We hated it for its contempt for educators. “This character is so clearly using my identity,” they say. ‘I was asking,’ the QB says. Email Us. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz is suing the maker of American Girl dolls, saying the company stole her likeness to create their astronaut doll, “Luciana Vega.”. MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An astronomer in Chicago has sued the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. Discussions with the company were unproductive, says Charles Lee Mudd Jr., Walkowicz’s lawyer. “I can’t think of anything less empowering for gender minorities in STEM than having your identity taken without your permission and used to sell a commercial product.”. US jobless claims rise to 885,000 as COVID-19 puts recovery at risk, Canada set to approve Boeing 737 Max design changes, [Most read] Melissa McGurren, Eric Ferguson’s morning show co-host, on leaving WTMX: ‘The truth will come out’. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Lucianne Walkowicz’ lawsuit asks American Girl and its parent, Mattel, to stop selling the Luciana Vega doll, described as “an aspiring astronaut ready to take the next giant leap to Mars.” Discover new clothes and dresses for girls and dolls. An astronomer alleges the company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. So can you.”. Walkowicz is suing over the American Girl Luciana Vega doll, alleging it is based on her likeness. Girls. U.S. DISTRICT COURT. 877-247-5223. During her career, the lawsuit states, Walkowicz has taken on a distinctive appearance, including a purple streak on the right side of her dark hair, and holographic shoes. It also seeks the cancellation of American Girl's Luciana and Luciana Vega trademarks. In the weeks since the American Girl lawsuit was filed, they say the persistent misgendering in the media has become “a source of anxiety.”, Walkowicz has long advocated for women in astronomy. MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Chicago astronomer is suing the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. After American Girl debuted Luciana, a lawsuit alleges the similarities between them go beyond mere coincidence. Walkowicz works at the Alder Planetarium and has spent much of their career with NASA, whom American Girl partnered with to cre It’s not inconceivable to imagine American Girl revealing a doll akin to the gender-neutral Barbie that Mattel debuted last year, as a part of the company’s ongoing attempts to diversify its doll line — efforts that have been celebrated for bringing greater representation to the politics of playtime as well as criticized as begrudging and profit-driven moves meant to prop up the company’s lagging sales. We take any allegations to the contrary extremely seriously, and intend to defend the case vigorously.”. ‘This is a launch disaster.’ Here’s why you can’t find a PlayStation 5. a TED senior fellow at the Adler Planetarium, Luciana Vega doll, which first appeared in 2018, [Most read] The first five: How a Chicago hospital picked its first COVID-19 vaccination recipients, Biking through deep space on Adler Planetarium's Galaxy Ride », [Most read] Second stimulus check updates: Negotiators near agreement on COVID-19 relief bill that includes direct payments — but no deal quite yet. Such coverage described the doll as a part of the broader cultural impetus to inspire young women to pursue careers in fields like astronomy, where structural barriers, stereotypes, and sexism have long kept white cisgender men in the majority while locking out many women, especially Black women and women of color. ... American Girl dolls. American Girl's latest favorites for girls and dolls. Using the Kepler space telescope, the mission explored the galaxy outside the Earth’s solar system searching for planets potentially capable of supporting life. Play . Ad Choices, This Nonbinary Astronomer Alleges American Girl Stole Their Identity for a Doll. More Illinois hospitals begin vaccinating health care workers as state and federal officials clash over size of future shipments. In addition to a cease-and-desist order barring sales of the Luciana Vega doll and accessories, the lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory, punitive and other damages. At Monona Terrace, Walkowicz once again spoke about the Kepler mission. Sign up for our weekly newsletter here. At the same time, Walkowicz emphasizes they are “very much in support of” elevating the stories of women leaders as role models. AG REWARDS / SIGN IN. MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An astronomer in Chicago has sued the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll. 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