“It’s a human rights issue”: Brian Cox Blasts Star Wars for Using AI to Copy James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader Voice

Brian Cox showed support for SAG-AFTRA and condemned the use of AI technology.

“It’s a human rights issue”: Brian Cox Blasts Star Wars for Using AI to Copy James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader Voice

SUMMARY

  • Brian Cox reacted to Disney's use of AI technology to reproduce James Earl Jones' voice as Darth Vader.
  • He noted how studios would give actors "one day's pay" to be able to use their image perpetually.
  • The Succession star joined a rally in support of SAG-AFTRA.
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Succession star Brian Cox fights against Hollywood’s use of artificial intelligence, an issue he believes is a violation of human rights. He also warned people of a scary future where the industry would finally make an artificial version of himself.

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Brian Cox
Brian Cox

The veteran Scottish actor was one of the main speakers who joined a rally in support of SAG-AFTRA. He pointed out the problems with using artificial intelligence and how it could affect the livelihood of artists.

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Brian Cox Calls Out Disney For Replicating James Earl Jones’ Voice

In his interview with GQ, Brian Cox was asked about his opinion on AI and digital likenesses. As someone who also does voiceovers, he was quite aware of what Disney did to James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader voice. For Cox, it poses an ethical problem. He stated:

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I think it’s a human rights issue. We really need to break it down to two sections, the financial thing, which is the deal, but there’s also this AI thing, and that, to me, is a bigger issue. And it’s an issue for the court of human rights because there is nothing more human than owning your own identity.”

James Earl Jones Darth Vader
James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader

He noted how studios would take advantage of actors’ willingness to let them use their image for as long as they want. Cox also wished Jones was properly compensated for his voice:

There’s just a clause in the contract that they [the studios] are offering at the moment which says, ‘We will pay you £50 for your image, and we can use it in perpetuity.’ [Writers’ and actors’ union SAG-AFTRA have said the offer is for “one day’s pay”.] That’s got to be stopped. I hope that James Earl Jones has been paid for the AI version of [his] voice. It’s the thin end of a wedge.”

Ukrainian company Respeecher provided the voice of Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show using Jones’ voice from recordings several years ago.

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Brian Cox Expressed His Distaste For AI Technology

In support of artists and writers, Brian Cox spoke at the Equity rally in July this year and encouraged everyone to resist and fight the domination of AI technology in the film industry. He noted its monetary issue but focused on the whole concept of the technology itself. He said (via Variety):

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Now, that is a completely unacceptable position, and that is a position that we should really be fighting against because that is the worst aspect. The wages are one thing, but the worst aspect is the whole idea of AI, and what AI can do to us.”

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Brian Cox at the Equity rally

Concluding his speech, he posed an idea that soon the industry would create his likeness and enable it to imitate animal movements and sounds. Cox reiterated that he never did anything of the sort in his entire career. Ultimately, he warned people that it could also happen to them, whether they are famous artists or not.

The artificial intelligence Brian Cox was gonna do animal impersonations! I’ve never done a f**king animal impersonation in my life, and I wouldn’t know where to f**king begin! This is gonna happen to everybody. Nobody’s exempt in this.”

Several actors have also voiced their concerns about the dangers of artificial intelligence. Not only will it jeopardize their livelihoods, but it will also take away the human nature in any work of art.

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Ariane Cruz, Senior Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.