Scarlett Johansson Slams OpenAI’s New ChatGPT Voice for Resembling Hers

The 'Black Widow' actress revealed that she's taking legal action against OpenAI, after the company released their 'Sky' voice assistant, which sounds "eerily similar" to her.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
scarlett johansson
View gallery
Image Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Scarlett Johansson spoke out against OpenAI after the company appeared to copy her voice for their new “Sky” voice program in a new statement shared on Monday, May 20. The statement was shared on social media by NPR tech correspondent Bobby Allyn. Throughout the statement, the actress, 39, revealed that Open AI CEO Sam Altman, 39, had reached out to have her be the voice of the program, but she declined. Now that the similarity was evident, she announced that she was taking legal action.

Scarlett revealed that the tech entrepreneur had reached out to her about the project and offered his reasoning why, but she said no.  “He told me that he felt that by my voicing the system, I could bridge the gap between tech companies and creatives and help consumers feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and AI. He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people,” she said. “After much consideration and for personal reasons, I declined the offer.”

Scarlett said that after declining the offer, she had multiple people point out the similarities to her, and she said when she heard it she said that she was “shocked, angered, and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and news outlets could not tell the difference.” She also noted that he had “insinuated” the similarity by tweeting “Her,” a reference to Scarlett’s role in the 2013 movie of the same name.

The Lost in Translation actress continued and said that shortly before the program was released, Sam contacted her agent to ask her to “reconsider” his offer, but before she could respond, the software was out there. She said that after the release, she was forced to seek counsel.

Scarlett at the ‘Her’ premiere in 2013. (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

At the end of her statement, Scarlett emphasized keeping control over your likeness and she hopes to make sure there is legislation that clearly spells out the laws on this. “In a time when we are all grappling with deepfakes and the protection of our own likeness, our own work, our own identities, I believe these are questions that deserve absolute clarity,” she wrote.

While OpenAI pulled the “Sky” software over the weekend, the company did release a blog post clarifying that they weren’t trying to mimic any specific voice. “We believe that AI voices should not deliberately mimic a celebrity’s distinctive voice—Sky’s voice is not an imitation of Scarlett Johansson but belongs to a different professional actress using her own natural speaking voice,” they wrote.

After Scarlett spoke out, her MCU co-star Mark Ruffalo showed support in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “This is just the beginning. Time to go out and hug a tree,” he wrote.