A man who has been dressing up as a character called Tokaroo won’t back down in the face of legal threats.
According to CTV News, TVO sent 22-year-old Mark Scott a cease-and-desist notice over the marijuana mascot parody of the Polkaroo character from the children’s series “Polka Dot Door”.
Scott has worked with TVO for over two decades, appearing in costume as Polkaroo at public events, but his relationship with the network frayed after he attended a marijuana legalization party at a Toronto park last week dressing as the pot-smoking parody of the iconic Canadian children’s TV character.
A lawyer for TVO wrote that the network failed to find an “amicable resolution” over the “unauthorized” use of their character.
The notice claims that the Tokaroo mascot may pose “a very real threat of tarnishing Polkaroo’s reputation.”
In a statement, TVO said, “Polkaroo is an established and trusted trademarked TVOkids mascot that is appreciated across generations.
“While we can understand the nostalgia, TVO does not endorse this parody of Polkaroo, or the fact that it is being associated with an activity that is neither legal for children nor recommended for use by children,” the statement continued. “We are asking Mark Scott to take appropriate action to stop the use of this character.”
Scott is standing firm in the face of the legal threat, though, telling CTV News, “I think that TVO is being a little bully-ish about this. [Their slogan is] ‘Never stop learning,’ and they’re doing a lot of ‘never’ and ‘stopping.'”
He also claims that Tokaroo is meant to educate young people on responsible drug use, fitting with his staple of other parody characters, including the LGBTQ-themed Rainbowroo, the deaf Signaroo, and the special needs Reddyroo.
“This is not a preschool program,” he explained. “This is for the internet and is really to deal with the adolescent identity and social issues. There will be a clear, no-nonsense discussion about it using whatever language needs to be used, even if it’s foul language or street language, it will be appropriate to the people we’re talking to.”