Tom Hanks Offers Serious Warning After New Commercial Uses His Likeness With A.I. Unauthorized

Tom Hanks reveals a commercial is using an unauthorized AI-generated image of him.
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The dangers and issues behind generative AI appear to be growing as of late. Just as the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, is beginning negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) this week to potentially bring an end to their ongoing labor dispute, Tom Hanks shared an Instagram post that justifies guilds such as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA looking for protection against generative A.I.

The Oscar-winning actor revealed in a post on his official Instagram account that a dental commercial is using an AI-generate doppelganger of him without his authorization or permission. You can see the post that Tom Hanks shared on his Instagram below:

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Hanks revealed that he has no affiliation with the company or its promotional video. He wrote in his statement, “BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it.” The post also features a screenshot of the AI-generated image of Hanks.

Generative A.I. has become a hot topic of discussion in light of the recent WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes against the AMPTP, as both organizations are seeking protections regarding generative A.I. The WGA recently accepted a new contract with the AMPTP, bringing an effective end to the WGA strike. However, the SAG-AFTRA strike, which began on July 14, is still ongoing. The AMPTP did start negotiations with SAG-AFTRA this week, so the guild will be seeking those additional protections against generative AI.

Tom Hanks in Greyhound

More people within the entertainment industry are speaking out against the use of generative AI, which is becoming a more prevalent issue. Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams, also noted on her own Instagram account that she found AI-generated recreations of her late father “disturbing.

Williams wrote on the subject, “I am not an impartial voice in SAG’s fight against AI.” She continued, “I’ve witnessed for YEARS how many people want to train these models to create/recreate actors who cannot consent, like Dad. This isn’t theoretical, it is very very real.”


Meanwhile, CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King also shared on her Instagram that a video ad is using her commercial and likeness without her permission. The misleading ad uses a manipulated clip of King that was taken when she was promoting an August 31 edition of her radio show. King noted about the unauthorized ad, “People keep sending me this video and asking about this product and I have NOTHING to do with this company.” She added, “I’ve never heard of this product or used it! Please don’t be fooled by these AI videos.”

Commercials using these actors’ images or footage without their footage is highly illegal. The actors in question should definitely be speaking out about this, and it seems like the fight against generative AI or AI-generated commercial material like this will be a big issue moving forward.

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Tim Burton, the director best known for Batman and Beetlejuice, also spoke out against AI-generated art during a recent interview with The Independent. Burton said on the subject, “What it does is it sucks something from you. It takes something from your soul or psyche; that is very disturbing, especially if it has to do with you. It’s like a robot taking your humanity, your soul.”

In the new WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement Memorandum, there is a section regarding generative artificial intelligence or GAI. According to the memorandum, AI nor GAI can be considered a “writer.” It also reads, “Therefore, any written material produced by traditional AI or GAI shall not be considered literary material.”

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The WGA’s memorandum also states that writers will not be forced to use GAI to create what would be considered “literary material” if it’s written by an individual. Also, if a studio asks a writer to use GAI-produced material for writing or rewriting any type of “literary material,” the studio must disclose that type of information to the writer that the material was generated by AI.

Considering what the WGA was able to achieve with GAI protections, it should be interesting to see how things will turn out for SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations for a new deal, especially in light of Tom Hanks’ recent comments.

What do you think of the news? Is this an alarming new trend that Tom Hanks pointed out, and ads using unauthorized uses of peoples’ likenesses without permission? Let us know your thoughts about the news on The Illuminerdi’s social media.

SOURCE: Instagram

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Jeff Harris

Jeffrey is an entertainment journalist and podcast host based in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Radio, TV, & Film and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. Jeffrey is also a Staff Writer at where he writes about movies, TV, games, wrestling, interviews talent, and covers special events such as Anime Expo, Comic-Con, and CinemaCon. When Jeffrey is not binging his favorite seasonal anime or show, he enjoys playing dodge ball, gaming, watching films, and enjoying UT football. You can find him on Twitter @Wheeljack83.