Marvel Studios is facing backlash once again after it was revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) may have been used in the design of the poster for the second season of the Disney+ series Loki. Critics argue that this practice replaces hard-working artists and perpetuates exploitation. This controversy follows a similar incident earlier this year when Marvel used AI in the opening credits of the series Secret Invasion. The use of AI in filmmaking has become a contentious issue in Hollywood, with ongoing negotiations between industry unions and studios.
Katria Raden, an author and illustrator, pointed out that the poster for Loki season two bears the characteristics of an image created using a combination of stock images and traditional Photoshop techniques. However, one stock image used in the poster appears to have been generated by AI, rather than being produced by real artists. Raden highlighted the ethical concerns surrounding this practice, noting that licensing photos and illustrations on stock sites has been a way for artists to earn a living. She argues that replacing them with AI-generated imagery built on mass exploitation and wage theft is not ethical.
This is not the first time Marvel has faced criticism for utilizing AI in graphic design. The opening credits of Secret Invasion were also partially created using AI-generated graphics. Director Ali Selim defended the use of AI in the credits, suggesting that it aligned with the show’s plot and the concept of shape-shifting Skrulls. However, many found this defense unsatisfactory, questioning why AI was used if its workings were not fully understood.
The increased use of AI in filmmaking has sparked controversy, especially regarding fair compensation and protections for artists and actors. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike has been influenced by the issue, and negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have also brought attention to the need for proper compensation and protection against AI replacing human talent.
The ongoing debate surrounding the use of AI in the entertainment industry raises important questions about the future of creativity and the rights of artists and actors. As Marvel once again faces backlash for its use of AI, it will be interesting to see how these controversies impact the industry and whether it prompts a more thoughtful and ethical approach to incorporating AI in artistic processes.
The second season of Loki is set to premiere on October 5th on Disney+. The poster, now under scrutiny due to its potential AI-generated elements, has reignited the ongoing discussion around the ethics of using AI in the creation of art and imagery.