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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

'It's Sad': William Shatner Responds to Backlash Over Using AI for Children's Album

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Actor William Shatner is firing back after some social media criticism over his latest album cover. Called Where Will the Animals Sleep? Songs for Kids & Other Living Things, the album is now available for pre-order, and Shatner unveiled its cover on X over the weekend.

Shortly after Shatner unveiled the children's album cover, he was met with some backlash for the use of AI imagery. The cover includes what appears to be AI-generated artwork with Shatner joined by a large group of children, along with a few elephants, with a book in hand. After getting some heat for the cover, Shatner stood by the cover.

In response to one fan who said the cover didn't seem genuine, Shatner said, "Yet it’s real enough for Amazon…that must baffle your brain." When another fan said they couldn't buy the album due to the AI cover, the actor clapped back, "Sure thing, Sporto!" He went on to state that it's "sad" how people weren't happy with the album cover, commenting on how popular bands from the past weren't given that treatment. Shatner also compared the complaints about AI to people questioning the rise of other innovative technologies.

"I don’t remember riots in the streets when [The Beatles] released the white album, Metallica released their black album or the Soundtrack album for This is Spinal Tap were released," he said. "People these days are affronted over whatever their twisted minds think can get them attention & popularity. It’s sad. Did the portrait artists of the 19th Century storm the house of Giroux over the development of the camera? And compared to cameras of today they are very antiquated so let progress happen. It’s clearly meant to be an AI in its simplest form because it’s a children’s album not something to hang in a museum."

Further responding to another X post who brought up how actors and writers had been striking about AI, Shatner said, "Well sweetheart, the only image is of me and I approved it. That means your craycray hysteria argument is null. The actor’s union issue was that studios could take moving images of previous acting jobs and repurpose the moving images and put them into an AI program for use in another production without permission. Next time if you are going to argue something, please make sure you understand the issue."

Concluding, Shatner wrote, "So the cover is the cover. I’ve approved it and that’s all there is to it. The end. Move on."

AI Use Has Become Very Controversial

This is the latest controversy to be associated with the use of AI for creative ventures. The filmmakers of the indie horror hit Late Night with the Devil faced some fire for including AI-generated artwork briefly in the movie. The new A24 film, Civil War, also recently felt the wrath of social media for releasing posters that used AI imagery.

Source: X

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