Sarah Lefton’s new “Sacramento Girlie Men” T-shirts, mentioned at LAObserved.com, reminds LAist that our Governator is involved in a lawsuit that spotlights the different rights of celebrities and public servants. T-shirt makers beware: Oak Productions, which holds all rights to merchandise Arnold Schwarnegger’s name and image, filed suit against Ohio Discount Merchandise, a firm that markets a bobblehead doll bearing our governor’s likeness in a suit but posed holding a gun in a manner evoking his "Predator" personage.
An important issue in the case is whether the bobbleheads are a political parody, and thus entitled to protection under the First Amendment, or an incursion on a celebrity’s right of publicity. While Schwarzenegger’s hardly the first celebrity-turned-politician (Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono and Jesse Ventura come to mind), he’s certainly milking his pop cultural persona for political gain —invoking the SNL Swarzenegger parody catchphrase—which is sort of puzzling, as Arnold’s lawyers insist the toy’s infringement trades more on Arnold’s persona as an entertainment figure than a politician. Seems like he’s playing it both ways.
All this bobbleheading is making LAist dizzy. Excuse us while we lie down for a minute.