Robin Williams’ Daughter Speaks Out Against Use of AI to ‘Recreate Actors Who Cannot Consent, Like Dad’

Zelda Williams, daughter of the late Robin Williams, shared the statement as SAG-AFTRA performers remain on strike.

robin williams and daugther on red carpet
Image via Getty/Steve Granitz / WireImage
robin williams and daugther on red carpet

Robin Williams’ daughter is speaking out about the “very very real” ramifications of not limiting the use of artificial intelligence in film and TV.

“I am not an impartial voice in SAG's fight against AI,” actor and director Zelda Williams wrote in an Instagram Stories update over the weekend, per Entertainment Weekly. “I’ve witnessed for YEARS how many people want to train these models to create/recreate actors who cannot consent, like Dad.”

Zelda’s statement comes as SAG-AFTRA remains on strike, with proposed AI regulations representing a key part of the fight. Previously, WGA writers secured limitations on such technology with the end of their strike, which preceded SAG’s.

“This isn't theoretical, it is very very real,” Zelda said. “I’ve already heard Al used to get [Robin’s] 'voice' to say whatever people want and while I find it personally disturbing, the ramifications go far beyond my own feelings. Living actors deserve a chance to create characters with their choices, to voice cartoons, to put their HUMAN effort and time into the pursuit of performance.”

At best, Zelda added, such recreations are “a poor facsimile.” At their best, “a horrendous Frankensteinian monster.”

Sharing this from @zeldawilliams, whose drive to protect her dad’s legacy may seem unique because of his singular genius, but ultimately will be familiar to all artists. To me this is the #1 reason to get out and support SAG on the picket lines even though our deal is done.

— carina adly mackenzie (@cadlymack) October 1, 2023

In July, Zelda responded to those expressing doubt about how far studios were willing to go to own artists’ likenesses, specifically through scans. As Zelda pointed out, studios view likenesses as merely “new intellectual property.”

That same month, Zelda paid tribute to her late father and pointed out that he "definitely would’ve been out there" supporting striking writers and actors.

Happy birthday to Poppo, who definitely would’ve been out there fighting the good fight for art and artists today and always.

— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) July 21, 2023

Monday, SAG will meet for bargaining with the studios. The union said in a recent press release that “several executives” from major studios will be present for the meeting, details of which are expected to be announced later on in the day.

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