Scarlett Johansson takes legal action against AI app that used her likeness ‘without permission’

Actor’s lawyer confirmed that the Marvel star was not a spokesperson for the app and that her name and likeness had been used without her permission

Inga Parkel
Wednesday 01 November 2023 22:40 GMT
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Scarlett Johansson runs through Black Widow's greatest moments

Scarlett Johansson has taken legal action against an online app that allegedly used her name and likeness to promote their services without her permission.

On 28 October, an advertisement for an artificial intelligence image-generating app called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar appeared on X/Twitter.

The software’s 22-second ad, which was reviewed by Variety before it disappeared from the internet, opened with an old clip that Johansson shot from the set of 2020’s Black Widow.

However, her likeness then reads out an advertisement from the AI company.

The Marvel actor’s representative confirmed to Variety that Johansson is not a spokesperson for the app and did not permit them to use her image.

“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,” Johansson’s lawyer, Kevin Yorn, told the publication.

The Independent has contacted Johansson’s representative and Lisa AI’s support centre (the only immediately available communication line for the company) for further comment.

Scarlett Johansson

“What’s up guys? It’s Scarlett and I want you to come with me,” Johansson reportedly says in the ad before her mouth is covered by a graphic and AI-generated photos of the actor appear on screen.

“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,” a fake imitation of Johansson’s voice says.

Underneath the advertisement, in fine print, it reads: “Images produced by Lisa AI. It has nothing to do with this person.”

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This is not the first instance a celebrity’s likeness has allegedly been used without their consent. Early last month, Tom Hanks called out an AI version of himself, warning fans to “Beware! ... I have nothing to do with it”.

That same month, Robin Williams’s daughter Zelda condemned the use of artificial intelligence to recreate the sound of her late father’s voice.

“This isn’t theoretical, it is very very real. I’ve already heard AI used to get his ‘voice’ to say whatever people want and while I find it personally disturbing, the ramifications go far beyond my own feelings,” she stated.

Recently, Meta introduced a new and “creepy” AI chatbot on Instagram, which bears a scary resemblance to Kendall Jenner.

The usage of AI remains an ongoing battle among those in Hollywood. It’s one of the key points actors are currently striking, with many concerned they will lose jobs to AI-created versions of themselves used without their permission.

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