Channel 4 has been criticized for its ‘deepfake’ version of the Queen’s Christmas speech in which the monarch talked about Harry and Meghan as well as her son Prince Andrew.
The channel provides an easy alternative to the annual Christmas address, but this year’s offer angered viewers, with some calling it “awakened trash,” “disgusting,” and “vile spirit.”
This year, the Queen was mocked – bastards targeted at Prince Andrew, Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Boris Johnson – 25 minutes after the Queen’s BBC aired at 3 p.m.
The digitally created “deepfake,” played by actress Debra Stephenson, aired this afternoon and was filled with gags, including jokes about the shortage of toilet rolls at the start of the pandemic, and the monarch perfected his dance moves on Tick Tok.
Channel 4 has come under fire for its ‘deepfake’ version of the Queen’s Christmas speech in which the monarch danced and discussed other members of the royal family
Outraged viewers, including politician Nigel Farage, opened Twitter to share their anger over the broadcast, and one labeled it “disgusting.”
But not all viewers were impressed, including politician Nigel Farage who posted a “How dare” tweet on video.
Others shared their displeasure on Twitter, with one caption: ‘Disgusting. The Queen has been steadfast in her duty and remains strong. God save the queen. ‘
“I’m not really a royalist, but the Queen succeeds at it every time and the public rightly respects and admires her,” said another. ‘The ridiculously clever alternative message of the’ deep fake ‘channel is 4 miles away from the public mood – and not nearly as smart or funny as they think it is.’
During the controversial four-minute broadcast, the fake Elizabeth II said: ‘One thing that has kept many of us going is our families, which is why I was so saddened by the departure of Harry and Meghan.
Others said it was a deeply false version of the queen’s “bad taste,” but acknowledged the importance of Channel 4’s message about fake shows, while others called it “sticky and immature”.
The Christmas message included jibs aimed at Prince Andrew, Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Boris Johnson
The artificially executed version of the monarch seems to have shared its thoughts on the departure of Harry and Meghan from the UK
‘Few things are more harmful than someone tells you they prefer the company of Canadians. But at least I still have my beloved Andrew nearby, it seems unlikely he will be heading to North America any time soon. ‘
The Queen’s Christmas message “Deepfake”
I have maintained a tradition of talking to you on Christmas for almost seventy years. But on the BBC I couldn’t always speak openly and from the heart. So I am grateful to Channel 4 for giving me the opportunity to say whatever I like without anyone putting words in my mouth.
If there is a topic to my message today, it is trust. Believe in what is true – and what is not.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us. A year in which most of you, thanks to the lack of toilets, have finally realized what it feels like to have trouble on the throne.
One of the things that has kept many of us going is our families, which is why I was so saddened by the departure of Harry and Meghan. There are few things more harmful than someone tells you that they prefer the company of Canadians. But at least I still have my beloved Andrew nearby. He seems to be heading to North America soon.
2020 was also a year of heroes like our brave NHS workers, many of whom were forced to take incredible risks like Boris Johnson’s treatment – knowing that they could get pregnant at any moment.
As is often the case, technology has helped address the challenges we have faced this year. Like many of you, when I wasn’t dating my wife for ‘Netflix and Phil’, as I like to call it, I was perfecting my moves for Tik Tok. In fact, there is something I would be quite happy to share with all of you.
I’m under Philip’s stern order not to do this, but as he nodded in front of Home Alone 2, would you have a terrible time? You’re going to have to move the camera back, everyone ready?
* The queen dances *
If that doesn’t make me, I strictly don’t know what he wants.
* The phone is handed over to the queen *
So much of our world today comes to us through these screens, which brings me back to the question of trust. Is what we see and hear always as it seems.
In your name, your queen and everyone on Channel 4 I believe you will have the happiest Christmas.
An alternative Christmas message offers a stern warning of misinformation and fake news.
Some people on Twitter recognized the importance of the channel’s message, with one post: “Queen deepfake tasted bad, but I think in five years Channel 4 will eventually be justified in using such provocative ways to alert us to its possibilities.”
An artificial version of the monarch, created by the visual effects studio Framestore, shows the fake queen sharing her thoughts on the departure of Harry and Meghan from the UK, and the scandal surrounding the Duke of York and his connection to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
He also performs the TikTok dance routine and discovers a penchant for ‘Netflix and Phil’ with his wife the Duke of Edinburgh.
During the broadcast, she added: ‘2020. was also a year of heroes, like our brave NHS workers, many of whom were forced to take incredible risks – like Boris Johnson’s treatment – knowing at any moment, as a result, they too could get pregnant. ‘
Pictures of her family members surrounded her as she addressed.
Deepfake technology has become more widespread in recent years and can be used to create compelling but fully produced video content by prominent personalities, most notably former US President Barack Obama, who has been the subject of numerous deepfake videos.
The artificial depiction of the Queen, designed by special effects creatives at Framestore, was directed by William Bartlett, and Miss Stephenson, 48, read a screenplay by James Kettle.
The end of the message shows how the artificially created images flicker before they disappear, revealing the green screen used to produce images of Buckingham Palace and showing that Miss Stephenson actually portrayed the Queen.
The actress said: ‘I am intensely fascinated by deepfake technology. I’ve been studying people for years to introduce myself to them on TV, but now I can really become one.
‘As an actress it’s exciting, but it’s also scary if you consider how this could be used in other contexts.’
Channel 4’s alternative Christmas message was broadcast as opposed to the BBC’s broadcast of the Queen’s official annual television message to the nation.
The version was released by Doreen and Neville Lawrence, John Bercow and Quentin Crisp.
Ian Katz, program director on Channel 4, said: ‘Deepfake technology is a daunting new frontier in the fight between misinformation and truth.
‘This year’s alternative Christmas address – seemingly maintained by one of the most famous and reliable figures in the state – is a strong reminder that we can no longer believe our own eyes.’
The four-minute broadcast also offered a stern warning of misinformation and fake news
Deepfake technology can be used to create compelling yet fully produced high-profile video content
Director Bartlett said: ‘This was a great project that required directing.
‘Deepfake is an interesting consequence of recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and although a powerful new technique for image creators is everywhere, it is also a tool that can be used to misrepresent and deceive.
‘With Channel 4, we wanted to create a sequence that is, I hope, fun enough for a lot of people to see and thus spreads a very real message that the pictures can’t always be trusted.’
An alternate Christmas message was broadcast today on Channel 4 at 3:25 p.m. [25th].