On Thursday, Channel 4 is releasing a TikTok parody, which appears to star Thunberg. Performed by impressionist Katia Kvinge and written by Stu Richards and Alasdair Beckett-King, the deepfake Thunberg dances to an original song titled “Man Like Greta” in the TikTok video.
“Whilst humorous in approach, this captivating content aims to deliver an urgent and important message about the impact of climate change in the lead up to Earth Day, as well as looking to increase our audiences’ awareness of deepfake technology and how it can be used,” said a statement from Channel 4.
The video will be followed by a “How To Tutorial,” which will demonstrate to TikTok’ers how to get involved and take on the dance.
“What better way to mark Earth Day than by tapping into TikTok and reimagining how Greta might approach it,” said Laura Marks, digital commissioner at Channel 4. “‘Man like Greta’ is an affectionate parody of our favorite climate change activist, we love Greta and her sense of humour, so maybe Greta will even have a go herself.”
Kvinge said: “We all know Greta is a brilliant activist but she’s also shown a great sense of humor in how she’s dealt with various politicians and obstacles in her own witty, dry way and it was my pleasure to play her.”
Channel 4 released a deepfake video of the Queen over Christmas 2020, where the ersatz monarch spoke to the rifts in the royal family, and the number of children sired by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. She also danced on a desk. The video was meant to highlight the ease with which misinformation can be spread, the broadcaster had said at the time. It drew more than 200 complaints to U.K. media regulator Ofcom.
That video was created by Oscar-winning VFX studio Framestore. The Thunberg video is from Rockerdale Studios who created the deepfake by using various AI (artificial intelligence) software fed with reference images of her, which created a digital version of her face layered on top of footage of Kvinge. No video footage of Greta Thunberg is manipulated and everything the audience sees and hears is performed by Kvinge.