Biden’s team tells Meena Harris to stop using Kamala’s image on products

Harris' activist-author niece has permission to sell out of the products related to her, but not restock them.

Meena Harris, the author-activist niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, has been told by lawyers for President Joe Biden to stop using her aunt’s likeness on her products. 

Meena Harris’ brand, Phenomenal Woman, had previously used the vice president’s image in a book and a clothing line. 

Meena Harris (above), the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, shown speaking at a virtual event last month hosted by the Biden Inaugural Committee, has been asked by President Joe Biden’s administration to stop using her aunt’s likeness on her products. (Photo by Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images)

The cover of her 2020 children’s book, Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, featured a photo of Vice President Harris and her younger sister, Maya, who is Meena’s mother. She also previously sold sweaters which read “Vice President Aunty” on the front, along with swimwear inspired by her aunt. 

Meena Harris was instructed by ethics lawyers during the Biden-Harris transition to refrain from using the vice president’s image. She had permission to sell out of the products related to Kamala Harris, but not restock them. 

Read More: Black leaders request Biden for targeted federal funds to save Black businesses

The Los Angeles Times recently published a detailed report claiming that Meena Harris’ personal branding endeavors had long been scrutinized by her kin’s staff members. 

“Some things can’t be undone,” an unnamed White House official told The Times. “That being said: Behavior needs to change.”

Read More: St. Louis agrees to $5 million settlement with Black officer beaten by police at protest

According to Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the vice president, “It’s the White House’s policy that the vice president’s name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities that could reasonably be understood to imply an endorsement or support.”

“Since the beginning of the campaign, I have insisted on upholding all legal and ethical standards, Meena Harris maintained in a statement to The Times, “and will continue to strictly adhere to the ethics rules of the Biden/Harris White House.”

Read More: Cuomo stops short of apology, denies cover-up in nursing home deaths

“With regards to Phenomenal,” she continued, “it was always our plan to remove the likeness of the vice president from the website before the inauguration and refrain from using her likeness in any products or campaigns going forward.”

Democratic supporters told The Times the party spent years criticizing former President Donald Trump for his hiring of relatives in high-ranking positions and profiting off the presidency. “We ought to be much cleaner,” a former adviser to Vice President Harris opined.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download today!