Several media sources have recently claimed that Devo, the post-punk band known for its song “Whip It,” was suing McDonald’s for appropriating the band’s signature “Energy Dome” hat for an American Idol-branded happy-meal toy.
According to the news reports,
Devo bass player Gerald Casale allegedly stated, “This New Wave Nigel doll that
they’ve created is just a complete Devo rip-off and the red hat is exactly the
red hat that I designed, and it’s copyrighted and trademarked.” He reportedly
added, “We’re in the midst of suing them. They didn’t ask us anything. Plus, we
don’t like McDonald’s, and we don’t like American Idol, so we’re doubly
As reported by the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Jennifer Gassen, who is a lawyer at the law office of David Blau, Devo’s attorney, wrote in an email:
“Please be advised that the story about a civil action by Devo against McDonald’s is a rumor and is completely false. No lawsuit has been filed and no litigation is pending. Any issue with the McDonald’s “New Wave Nigel” promotion has been amicably resolved on mutually agreeable terms.”
“New Wave Nigel” Happy Meal toy.