Channel 4 has been criticized for its "deepfake" version of the Queen's Christmas Day speech, in which the monarch discussed Harry and Meghan and their son Prince Andrew.
The station offers a lighthearted alternative to the annual Christmas address, but this year's offering has annoyed viewers, some of whom have referred to it as "rubbish woke up", "gross" and "mean spirited".
That year the Queen was mocked – jibing at Prince Andrew, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Boris Johnson – 25 minutes after the Queen's BBC broadcast at 3pm.
The digitally created "Deepfake," played by actress Debra Stephenson, aired this afternoon and was full of gags, including jokes about the lack of toilet paper at the start of the pandemic, and watching the monarch perfect her moves for a dance on Tik Tok .
Channel 4 has come under fire for its "deepfake" version of the Queen's Christmas Day speech, in which the monarch danced and discussed other members of the royal family
Outraged viewers, including politician Nigel Farage, took to Twitter to share their anger over the show. One called it "disgusting".
But not all viewers were impressed, including politician Nigel Farage, who tweeted "How Dare" in response to the video.
Others took to Twitter to share their outrage with a letter: “Disgusting. The queen was steadfast in her duty and still strong. God save the Queen. & # 39;
"I'm really not a royalist, but the queen gets it right every time and the public rightly respects and admires her," said another. "Channel 4's ridiculously clever 'deep fake' alternative message is a million miles away from the public eye – and nowhere near as smart or funny as they think."
During the controversial four-minute broadcast, a parody of Elizabeth II said, "One thing that has sustained many of us is our families, which is why I was so saddened by Harry and Meghan's departure.
Others said the Queen's deepfake version was "tasteless" but recognized the importance of Channel 4's message about fake broadcasts, while others labeled it "sticky and immature".
The Christmas message contained jibes addressed to Prince Andrew, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Boris Johnson
The man-made version of the monarch seemed to share her thoughts on Harry and Meghan's departure from the UK
“There are few things more hurtful than someone who tells you they prefer the company of Canadians. But at least I still have my beloved Andrew around. It is unlikely that he will travel to North America anytime soon. & # 39;
The alternative Christmas message strongly warns of misinformation and false news.
Some people on Twitter acknowledged the importance of the station's message with a post: "The Queen Deepfake was tasteless, but I think that if it uses such provocative methods to get us ahead of it, Channel 4 will ultimately be vindicated in five years Abilities to warn. "
The artificially rendered version of the monarch, created by visual effects studio Framestore, featured the fake queen sharing her thoughts on Harry and Meghan's departure from the UK and the Duke of York scandal and his connection with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein shared.
She also performs a TikTok dance routine and shows her fondness for & # 39; Netflix and Phil & # 39; with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
On the air, she added, “2020 was also a year of heroes, like our brave NHS staff, many of whom were forced to take incredible risks – like the treatment of Boris Johnson – and knew at all times they knew too could get pregnant. & # 39;
Pictures of her family members surrounded her as she made her address.
The four-minute broadcast also issued a strong warning of misinformation and false news
Deepfake technology has become increasingly prominent in recent years and can be used to create compelling but fully manufactured video content from high profile personalities, particularly former US President Barack Obama, who has been the subject of a number of deepfake videos.
The artificial representation of the Queen, designed by creatives for special effects in the Framestore, was staged by William Bartlett and Miss Stephenson, 48, read a script by James Kettle.
The end of the message shows the artificially generated images flickering before disappearing to reveal the green screen on which images of Buckingham Palace were made and to show that it is indeed Miss Stephenson, the Queen represents.
The actress said, “I have an intense fascination with deepfake technology. I studied people for years to portray them on television, but now I can really become them.
"As an actress, it's exciting, but it's also terrifying when you consider how this could be used in other contexts."
Channel 4's alternate Christmas message was aired over the BBC's broadcast of the Queen's official annual television news to the nation.
An earlier version was supplied by Doreen and Neville Lawrence, John Bercow and Quentin Crisp.
Ian Katz, Program Director at Channel 4, said, “Deepfake technology is the terrifying new frontier in the battle between misinformation and truth.
Deepfake technology can be used to create compelling but fully manufactured video content of high-profile characters
"This year's Alternative Christmas Address – apparently held by one of the country's most famous and trusted personalities – is a powerful reminder that we can no longer trust our own eyes."
Director Bartlett said, & # 39; This was a great project to ask to direct.
& # 39; Deepfake is an interesting side effect of recent advances in machine learning and AI. While it's a powerful new technique for picture-makers everywhere, it's also a tool that can be used to misrepresent and deceive.
"With Channel 4, we wanted to create a sequence that would hopefully be entertaining enough that many people would see it, conveying the very real message that images cannot always be trusted."
The alternative Christmas message was broadcast today [25th] at 3:25 p.m. on channel 4.