Kristen Bell is known for comedies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and family-friendly fodder such as Disney’s Frozen and its sequel. What she wasn’t known for is porn, that is, until deepfakes on the Internet started to become more common. Now that we’re living in the darkest timeline, Bell has spoken out about her feelings regarding the porn deepfakes circulating on the Internet.
Kristen Bell recently talked about why the deepfake videos are so discouraging to her, mentioning that “consent” has become a giant part of the conversation in regards to sexual relations, but hasn’t really been brought up in regards to adult websites and the types of content individuals are sometimes putting on the Internet. She told Vox:
You know we’re having this gigantic conversation about consent and I don’t consent. So that’s why it’s not OK. Even if it’s labelled as ‘this is not actually her,’ it’s hard to think about that. I wish that the Internet were a little bit more responsible and a little bit kinder.
I think wishing the Internet would be kinder and more responsible is something that comes up a lot, from cancel culture to the misuse of imagery. Faked pornographic images of celebrities have existed on the Internet for a long time, but deepfakes, or at least realistic-looking deepfakes, are a relatively new phenomenon.
Sometimes the deepfakes can be really amusing, such as the viral one with Tom Holland in Back To The Future that came out a few months ago; although even then Tom Holland wasn't initially super happy about it. When it comes to deepfaked porn, the matter can be even harder to swallow, as Kristen Bell recounted. In fact, she had to find out about the pornographic deepfakes from her husband Dax Shepard, who apparently had learned of the video imagery from Ashton Kutcher. She also noted she was “shocked” to realize her face was digitized onto porn when her husband shared the news:
My husband actually told me. Because he is friends with Ashton Kutcher so he actually told him, 'By the way, there are these things called deepfakes and your wife is one of them.'
The reason Ashton Kutcher is probably aware of pornographic deepfakes is because his wife Mila Kunis is also the frequent subject of them. In fact, in her case, things got so bad on social platforms that Reddit had to ban deefakes with malicious intent. Pornographic deepfakes with Emma Watson and Mila Kunis were some of the ones that were taken down from that site. Yet, these sorts of videos have persisted elsewhere online.
As deepfake technology gets better it will only become harder and harder to tell the fake from the real thing, which is another concern with these sorts of videos and one of the reasons women who have been the subject of faked porn have been asked to talk about their experiences. It’s one thing if you are Bella Thorne and you personally decide to get involved in the porn industry to direct your own film. It’s quite another if people are using your face to show sexual acts you did not consent to and were not actually a part of in reality either.
It’s not just videos or porn that have become a problem either. Audio deepfakes have also started causing a stir. Jay-Z has tried to use copyright law to pull deepfake audio a couple of times after deepfakes of him reciting Shakespeare and “We Didn’t Start The Fire” emerged. While those are seemingly innocuous and the audio ultimately went back online, the technology could theoretically be used for nefarious purposes if it isn’t legislated and dealt with accordingly.