AI Abuse? Disney Dodges Criticism Over “Loki” Poster

Disney’s promotional poster for the second season of the Marvel series Loki caused controversy in the design community. Fans pointed out that the clock image in the background of the poster appears to have been made using generative artificial intelligence. Illustrator Katria Raden noted on social media that the said image has many “meaningless squiggles” that are typical of AI-generated images.

Also read: Disney Forms AI Task Force: Exploring Cost Savings and AI Integration for a Magical Future

Straight off of Shutterstock?

Some X users have pointed out that the clock image bears a striking resemblance to a stock image on Shutterstock called “Surreal Infinity Time Spiral Space Antique.”  The image, uploaded to Shutterstock this year, showed no metadata to confirm how it was created. Through the analysis of several AI image inspection tools, the image was determined to be likely generated by AI.

According to Shutterstock’s rules, AI-generated images with no attribution should not be licensed for commercial use. Unless it was produced using Shutterstock’s own AI image generator tool. It’s the only way to prove ownership of the picture. However, the website did not identify the image as AI content, nor did it provide an explanation for the violation.

Disney’s Loki faces backlash over reported use of generative AI

Artists Claim Unethical Behavior

Many designers criticized the practice as unethical, fearing it would crowd out jobs for human artists. As Raden notes: “licensing photos and illustrations on stock sites has been a way many hard-working artists have been earning a living. I don’t think replacing them with generated imagery via tech built on mass exploitation and wage theft is any more ethical than replacing Disney’s own employees.”

In fact, back in March, Disney’s Secret Invasion, another Marvel title, was also criticized for using AI to generate images. However, the producers said AI was only used as an auxiliary tool. Industry insiders raised concern that the abuse of AI by entertainment giants will threaten jobs in creative industries.

Similar AI-generated image platforms are emerging in an endless stream, and supervision and rights protection still need to be strengthened.

Also read: Hollywood Unites in AI Strike

Disney Yet to Engage Directly

The Loki poster has been widely distributed in the App Store and other channels. Disney has yet to directly address questions about its use of AI, let alone judge whether it has adopted the technology on a large scale internally. Industry experts say that including AI-generated hidden danger images, even if unintentionally, hurts brand credibility. As public attention to algorithmic bias grows, the controversy is likely to continue.


Ivy Wu

Ivy Wu was a media reporter at btw media. She graduated from Korea University with a major in media and communication, and has rich experience in reporting and news writing.

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