Morgan Freeman Joins Chorus of Celebs Speaking Out on Unauthorized Voice AI

Morgan Freeman voice AI
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Morgan Freeman voice AI
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Photo Credit: Alexander Kubitza for the Pentagon

Morgan Freeman has joined the chorus of celebrity voices speaking out against the use of unauthorized voice cloning. Scarlett Johansson has helped lead the charge, asking OpenAI to disclose how it created its AI voice assistant, Sky.

Recently, a TikTok user describing herself as Morgan Freeman’s ‘nepo niece’ posted videos that allegedly featured narration from the iconic voice actor generated by AI. Morgan Freeman is famous for his narration work including Frank Darabont’s ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ (1994), Luc Jacquet’s ‘March of the Penguins’ (2005), and Clint Eastwood’s ‘Million Dollar Baby’ (2005).

The celebrated voice actor took to X/Twitter over the weekend to thank fans for calling out the TikTok scammer. “Thank you to my incredible fans for your vigilance and support in calling out the unauthorized use of an AI voice imitating me,” he writes. “Your dedication helps authenticity and integrity remain paramount. Grateful.”

Scarlet Johansson brought national attention to voice cloning after asking OpenAI’s Sam Altman to disclose how the company created its voice for Sky, its personal assistant chatbot. The advances in technology that allow characteristics of unique voices to be replicated mean anyone with hours of training data (i.e. previous public appearances) is at risk for voice cloning.

Johansson contacted a lawyer immediately upon hearing the Sky chatbot voice, saying she was “shocked, angered, and in disbelief.” While the voice of the now-pulled personal assistant may not be trained on Johansson’s iconic voice, the soundalike is undeniable—especially after Johansson revealed she refused to voice the chatbot after Altman made the offer. She says she was contacted two days before the public demo of Sky, asking her to reconsider her position. OpenAI maintains that the voice is not an imitation of Johansson.

Back in April 2024, Drake drew broad criticism for the use of AI to re-create Tupac Shakur’s voice to taunt Kendrick Lamar in a rap beef between the two. The West Coast rapper taunts Lamar in the song “Taylor Made Freestyle,” which caused the Shakur Estate to issue a cease and desist. Howard King, a representative for the estate, called the AI voice cloning a “blatant abuse of the legacy of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time.”