Over 200 people have complained to British media wake dog Ofcom about a satirical Christmas speech by Queen Elizabeth, which was broadcast simultaneously with the Queen‘s real Christmas message. In the deepfake video channel Channel 4 had the 94-year-old queen dance in front of the Christmas tree on her desk.
The station said it did so to warn viewers about the ease with which misleading information can be created and distributed today. “I am grateful to Channel 4 for having the opportunity to say everything I want without anyone putting words in my mouth,” Queen Elizabeth began her speech, which had the broadcaster fully spoken by an actress.
The alternative Christmas speech was a so-called ‘deepfake‘, a fake video with images generated by an artificial intelligence algorithm. This replaced the face of the actress with that of the Queen, who then made jokes about toilet paper shortages and the hospitalization of Prime Minister Johnson with Elizabeth’s familiar voice.
At the end of the video, the queen‘s face disappears and shows that there is an actress in front of a green screen in a television studio. “It is very clear in the four-minute video that this is a parody of the Christmas speech. For viewers, there was no doubt afterwards that this was not real,” says a Channel 4 spokesman to the BBC, who broadcast the real speech.
Some viewers found the fake speech, including jokes about Prince Harry’s departure to North America, tasteless and stepped to the media wake dog. It confirms that 214 complaints have been received and that an investigation is being conducted.
Previous rains of media awaakdog Ofcom were many times larger. Over 18,000 complaints against the BBC were filed this year following the use of a racist term in a TV report. Almost 4000 complaints came against ITV presenter Piers Morgan, due to his conflict-oriented interview style.