Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda Williams, called out the “disturbing” AI technology used to re-create her late father's voice. Robin Williams reportedly named his 34-year-old daughter after the video game The Legend of Zelda.
“I am not an impartial voice in SAG’s fight against AI,” said Zelda in a statement posted on Instagram Stories. “I’ve witnessed for YEARS how many people want to train these models to create/re-create actors who cannot consent, like Dad. This isn’t theoretical, it is very very real.
“I’ve already heard AI used to get his ‘voice’ to say whatever people want and while I find it personally disturbing, the ramifications go far beyond my own feelings. Living actors deserve a chance to create characters with their choices, to voice cartoons, to put their HUMAN effort and time into the pursuit of performance.”
Zelda Williams Does Not Cite a Specific Example of AI Used to Re-create Robin Williams' Voice
Robin Williams won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting. He became a household name after his breakout role as the titular alien on TV's Mork & Mindy. He also played acclaimed roles in Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Patch Adams, Jumanji, One Hour Photo, and Good Morning, Vietnam. Williams lent his voice to characters in movies such as Aladdin, Robots, and Happy Feet. Williams, who suffered from Lewy body dementia, took his own life in 2014.
Actress-director-producer-writer Zelda Williams is best known for her voice role as Kuvira in the animated Nickelodeon series The Legend of Korra. She makes her feature-film directorial debut in 2023 with the horror-comedy Lisa Frankenstein, written by Diablo Cody.
The protection of its members from AI is one of the primary reasons the WGA and SAG-AFTRA went on strike. The WGA made a deal with AMPTP, which included provisions to protect writers from AI. SAG-AFTRA is still negotiating details to protect actors from the use of AI to re-create their likenesses.
In her Instagram rant, Williams does not specifically mention how AI was used to re-create her late father's voice. “These re-creations are, at their very best, a poor facsimile of greater people, but at their worst, a horrendous Frankensteinian monster, cobbled together from the worst bits of everything this industry is, instead of what it should stand for,” writes Zelda Williams.
Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.