A ‘fake’ version of Queen Elizabeth delivered a Christmas Day speech- which sounded nothing like any of the speeches from the real Queen.
According to traditions, the British monarch delivers Christmas Day messages on the BBC and ITV, which is broadcasted across the world. But but a digitally made-up doppelganger of the Queen was plastered across Channel 4’s screens where she shared her thoughts on her family members including Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan along with her son Prince Andrew.
Apart from the ‘message’, the video was also filled with gags, jokes on toilet roll shortage during the early stage of the pandemic and also included parts where the Queen tried to perform dance moves for Tik Tok viral challenge. This left some viewers, infuriated.
British broadcaster Channel 4 has been called out for its ‘deepfake’ version of Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Day message where the monarch was shown discussing other royal family members
The channel said the video was supposed to offer “a stark warning about the advanced technology that is enabling the proliferation of misinformation and fake news in a digital age," CNN reported.
The Queen’s original message to the world was broadcasted on BBC at 3pm and the deepfake version was aired 25 minutes after, where the monarch was digitally-created and played by actress Debra Stephenson.
The BBC reported that the 5 minute long message touched over various controversial topics including the decision by Prince Harry and Meghan to leave the UK and settle in America. The video also mentions Duke of York’s decision to step down from royal duties following his relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The deepfake monarch said in the video, “One thing that has sustained many of us is our families, which is why I was so saddened by the departure of Harry and Meghan."
“There are few things more hurtful than someone telling you they prefer the company of Canadians. But at least I still have my beloved Andrew close by, it seems unlikely he’ll be heading to North America anytime soon," the fake queen said.
The channel, on its part called their video an attempt to highlight the challenges posed by misinformation and truth, CNN reported Channel 4 Director of Programmes Ian Katz as saying. The video was manipulated using artificial intelligence technology.
Katz reportedly added that the video “is a powerful reminder that we can no longer trust our own eyes."
There were some very stark and some mixed reactions to the video as many slammed it for being offensive to the Queen while others took it lightly.
Channel 4 is always the first to shout about subjects such as diversity, equality, LGBT, BLM, mental health etc. Yet they happily poke fun at an elderly woman who has dedicated her life to her country, supposedly in the name of humour. Disrespectful and extremely tasteless.— Megan__T (@Megan_R_T) December 23, 2020
This is appalling. For a channel that highlights the dangers of fake news and doctored content online in its news output, it’s very disappointing to see it indulging in the same methods for ‘comedy’ and normalising the blurred lines.— Benjamin Butterworth (@benjaminbutter) December 24, 2020
At what point did someone in your organisation think this would be funny of a great idea? Look at the responses and it hasn’t even aired yet.— Andy Bigh Hargreaves (@therealbig_h) December 23, 2020
watched that channel 4 alternative queen’s speech on snapchat and it is truly one of the least funny things ever made— tom 🙂 (@t0mboden16) December 26, 2020
As part of her real Christmas message like every year, the Queen thanked frontline workers profusely for their efforts to help the public in times of the pandemic and offered condolences to families who could not be together during festivities due to pandemic related restrictions.