Scarlett Johansson, an Oscar-nominated actress, has initiated legal proceedings against an AI app developer for unauthorized use of her likeness in an advertisement, as reported by Variety. The 22-second ad promoted an AI image editing tool called “Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar” and allegedly featured an AI-generated version of Johansson’s voice and image.
The advertisement began with an actual clip of Johansson from a behind-the-scenes moment in “Black Widow,” where she said, “What’s up guys? It’s Scarlett, and I want you to come with me…”. It then transitioned to AI-generated images and a replicated version of her voice endorsing the AI app. The ad contained fine print beneath it, stating, “Images produced by Lisa AI. It has nothing to do with this person.” As per Variety, multiple Lisa AI applications developed by Convert Software are still available on the App Store and Google Play, but the ad no longer appears on X.
Scarlett Johansson is addressing this issue through legal channels, as her attorney, Kevin Yorn, explained. He stated, “We do not take these matters lightly. In line with our usual approach to such situations, we will pursue all available legal remedies.” Johansson is widely recognized in Hollywood, both for her appearance and her voice, and serves as a spokesperson for prestigious brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton. Given her high profile, it is surprising that someone would attempt to misuse her likeness, assuming the allegations are accurate. This incident also raises questions about the quality of advertisements on X.
The use of AI to replicate the likenesses of celebrities is a relatively recent development, and the legal implications are still evolving. In a notable case, actor Tom Hanks warned his fans on social media that AI-generated versions of his likeness were being used to fraudulently promote products.
While it remains a legal gray area, some states have enacted laws related to privacy rights, with California, for example, permitting civil lawsuits for the unauthorized use of someone’s “name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness” in advertising or promotion.