SAG-AFTRA is speaking out against the explicit AI-generated images of Taylor Swift that appeared on the internet.
“The sexually explicit, A.I.-generated images depicting Taylor Swift are upsetting, harmful, and deeply concerning,” the union said in a statement on Friday, January 26. “The development and dissemination of fake images — especially those of a lewd nature — without someone’s consent must be made illegal. As a society, we have it in our power to control these technologies, but we must act now before it is too late.”
SAG-AFTRA shared its support for the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, legislation drafted by New York Congressman Joe Morelle. The organization is calling to “stop exploitation of this nature” and wants to prevent it from happening again.
“We support Taylor and women everywhere who are the victims of this kind of theft of their privacy and right to autonomy,” the statement concluded.
The fake images spread on X on Wednesday, January 24. According to The Verge, the initial post reached 45 million views before they were taken down, which took the social media platform 17 hours to do.
X has not commented on the matter.
Swift has not publicly commented on the situation but reports surfaced that the Grammy winner was considering taking legal action.
SAG-AFTRA isn’t the only group calling for action against AI. The White House also addressed the “alarming” incident.
“Of course Congress should take legislative action,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a press conference on Friday. “That’s how you deal with some of these issues.”
Many technology companies have invested in cultivating AI for organizational purposes. Microsoft currently offers its own artificial intelligence solution called CoPilot to compete with OpenAI’s Chat GPT. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed the “alarming and terrible” images of Swift and shared that action needs to be taken immediately to keep people safe.
“I think we all benefit when the online world is a safe world,” Nadella, 56, said in an interview with NBC News‘ Lester Holt on Friday. “And so I don’t think anyone would want an online world that is completely not safe for both content creators and content consumers. So therefore, I think it behooves us to move fast on this.”
When SAG-AFTRA went on strike last year, AI was one of the union’s top concerns. When the studios and the guild reached an agreement in November 2023, most of the AI restrictions that SAG-AFTRA fought for were included in the deal. One of their most important demands was that a studio must get permission from actors before using elements of their likeness.