Scarlett Johansson has taken legal action against an AI app that used her name and likeness in an online advertisement without permission.
Johansson appeared in a 22-second ad posted on X/Twitter by an artificial intelligence image-generating app called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar. Representatives for the actor confirmed to Variety that Johansson is not a spokesperson for the app, and her attorney, Kevin Yorn, handled the situation in a legal capacity. The advertisement was spotted on Oct. 28 and appears to have since vanished from the internet.
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“We do not take these things lightly. Per our usual course of action in these circumstances, we will deal with it with all legal remedies that we will have,” Yorn told Variety.
The ad, reviewed by Variety, begins with an old clip of Johansson behind the scenes of Marvel’s “Black Widow.” Johansson says, “What’s up guys? It’s Scarlett and I want you to come with me…” before a graphic covers her mouth and the screen transitions into AI-generated photos that resemble the actor. A fake voice imitating Johansson then continues speaking, promoting the AI app. “It’s not limited to avatars only. You can also create images with texts and even your AI videos. I think you shouldn’t miss it,” says a voice that sounds like Johansson.
Fine print under the advertisement reads: “Images produced by Lisa AI. It has nothing to do with this person.” Multiple Lisa AI apps, which are created by Convert Software, remain on the App Store and Google Play. The app maker did not respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
Many states have strict laws when it comes to the right of privacy, with California providing a civil claim for the unauthorized use of one’s “name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness” for the purpose of advertising or promotion. While some famous people may bring a lawsuit against those using their name and likeness without approval in order to set a precedent, most of such cases are settled with cease and desist demands.
Johansson isn’t the only actor to have her name and likeness stolen and manipulated for the purpose of advertising. Last month, Tom Hanks took to social media to warn his fans about a promotional video for a dental plan that features an AI version of the actor. “Beware! … I have nothing to do with it,” Hanks wrote on his Instagram story.
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