Disney is facing backlash after new promotional materials for the second season of “Loki” on Disney+ allegedly used AI technology to achieve the desired aesthetic effect.
The buzz began on X when an illustrator named Katria Arden flagged the image claiming that she was “madly disappointed” that AI was being used.
For those not well-versed in the licensing and imagery world of mass media, the issue stems from using a stock photo as a base image that can be found on the popular image hosting platform, Shutterstock.
Shutterstock has a strict (and clearly written) policy against hosting any AI-generated content that was not created by using Shutterstock’s in-house AI tool (in which case the image would be labeled that it was created in such a way.)
Arden claims that there are certain “telltale signs” in the background image that proves that it’s been AI-generated, including “things randomly turning into meaningless squiggles” near the numerals and outline of the clock.
“The fact that they didn’t bother to clean it up at all… I’m sure they don’t have an actual artist on there at all,” one user quipped in response.
Arden explained how artists and photographers rely on licensing agreements from hosting sites in order to make a living and how Disney opting to use this technology for promotional materials is not “any more ethical than replacing Disney’s own employees.”
Disney did not respond to the allegations and did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment.
Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston, premiered in 2021 on Disney+ and debuted its second season on October 5. The second episode is set to be released on the streaming platform on October 12.