×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jordan Peele Teams With BuzzFeed for Obama Fake-News Awareness Video (Watch)

Don’t believe everything you see and hear in an internet video.

That’s the message from Jordan Peele and BuzzFeed, who teamed up for a public-service video announcement that puts Peele’s words into the mouth of former President Barack Obama.

The 72-second segment begins as what appears to be a message from Obama. Halfway through, it is revealed to be Peele — delivering his famous Obama impression as a voiceover to a digitally manipulated video.

“We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time, even if they would never say those things,” Peele-as-Obama says. For example: “Ben Carson is in the Sunken Place” or “President Trump is total and complete dipshit.”

“Stay woke, bitches,” Peele says at the end of the video.

The project emerged from discussions between Peele, who this year won the original screenplay Oscar for “Get Out,” and BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti about fake news, and the importance of media literacy as technology makes it incredibly easy to disseminate misinformation by manipulating video and audio.

As a courtesy, prior to releasing the video BuzzFeed shared it with aides who work with President Obama.

The video was produced by BuzzFeed creative director Jared Sosa in collaboration with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, and written by Peele. BuzzFeed distributed the clip Tuesday across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat.

The video was generated using After Effects, an off-the-shelf motion-graphics program, and Fakeapp — an artificial-intelligence video-editing program that has been used mainly for superimposing celebrities’ faces onto porn scenes.

BuzzFeed’s Sosa figured out a way to get a semi-accurate camera track on Obama’s head to get a virtual 3D camera. That allowed him to paste Peele’s mouth onto Obama’s.

Sosa then used Fakeapp to replace Peele’s mouth with Obama’s; he had Fakeapp run for 12 hours and the synchronization improved dramatically, with the software correcting some of the points where Peele’s mouth weren’t in the right position. He then exported that footage to refine the synthetic jaw and then let Fakeapp run for another 48 hours to get a more accurate rendering of Obama’s mouth.

Watch the video above, or at this link.

More Digital

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Farewell to Concubines: China Tightens Restrictions on Short-Form Videos

    Bad news for some of China’s 600 million users of short-form video platforms: No more content depicting foot fetishes, spoofs of the national anthem or sympathy for extramarital affairs, according to new regulations. Worse news for the companies that serve such consumers: They’re now expected to step up their censorship efforts and assume responsibility for [...]

  • How Meta Struggled to Make AR

    The Story Behind Meta, the AR Startup That Just Had Its Assets Sold to a Mystery Buyer

    “It’s a pretty dramatic moment in my life.” To say that Meron Gribetz, co-founder of the augmented-reality headset startup Meta, has had a busy couple of months is an understatement. Meta made headlines in September when it furloughed most of its workforce after an investment round from China failed to go through. Since then, Gribetz [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger

    Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger Competitor Than HBO

    It may be mostly gamesmanship to downplay looming threats, but Netflix says it’s not really focused on rival streaming-video services from Amazon, Hulu, Disney, WarnerMedia or other big players as much as improving its own service to win share of consumers’ attention. “We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO,” Netflix told investors [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gain, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • Bird Box

    'Bird Box' Has Been Watched by 80 Million Subscribers, Netflix Says

    Netflix used its Q4 2018 earnings report Thursday to give us a rare update on some of its audience numbers: The company estimates that its horror-thriller “Bird Box” will be viewed by over 80 million member households in the first four weeks following its release. “We are seeing high repeat viewing,” company executives wrote in [...]

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content