In a world of rapidly advancing technology, Internet porn is becoming a major source of digital trickery. Fake porn videos, also known as "deepfakes," have been popping up over-and-over again all over the web. It has shamefully been used to harass and humiliate women -- famous and otherwise. Among the women who have seen more-than-a-few deepfake videos of themselves online is Scarlett Johannson.
In a recent article exploring the rise of such technological advancements, the Ghost in the Shell actress admitted she's done trying to take down these videos that keep showing up online.
Scarlett Johansson told The Washington Post that her face has been superimposed onto "dozens" of sex scenes -- at least some of which are considered to be "graphic" -- throughout the past year alone. They've been viewed many times, including one that has reportedly acquired nearly two million views on an unnamed major porn site. Johansson considers the web to be a "virtually lawless abyss." She said:
While being a world-famous A-list celebrity is not without its perks, there is a dark, troubling side to being a famous figure that is found on the web. That is an unfortunate reality for Scarlett Johansson. She has found herself at the center of several fake pornographic films. And while being a celebrity means that your image can be changed against your control, she doesn't care for how people put her face onto these extremely graphic videos. They spread deceit through this state-of-the-art trickery, claiming they are sex tapes from the actress when they're definitely not.
But at the same time, Scarlett Johansson knows that there's little can she do to stop it at this point, even though she has reportedly tried in the past. It is unlikely that people are going to stop making these videos, even though they should. Johansson isn't comfortable with it, but she is not able to pull the brakes on them entirely.
As the article from The Washington Post admits, it is a continuously growing problem, and it is one that is expected to grow more significant as technology advances and more people have the opportunity to use it -- either with celebrities or regular everyday people. It's a scary thought. But ScarJo cannot do much to stop what is happening. For all the deepfakes that she and her legal team take down, there are likely dozens more that will either stay up or be made shortly thereafter. Rather than fight it constantly, it sounds like Scarlett Johansson is going to let it be. But that doesn't mean you should do it.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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