Scarlett Johansson lashes out at OpenAI CEO Sam Altman for using voice ‘eerily similar’ to hers in ChatGPT

Actress Scarlett Johansson lambasted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Monday after being “shocked, angered and in disbelief” that the latest ChatGPT version included a voice that sounded “eerily” similar to the one she voiced in the 2013 film “Her.”

“Last September, I received an offer from Sam Altman, who wanted to hire me to voice the current ChatGPT 4.0 system,” the actress wrote in a scathing statement to NPR. “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 to feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and Al. He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people.”

She “declined the offer,” she wrote, “after much consideration and for personal reasons.”

Nine months later, a voice sounding “eerily similar to mine” surfaced in the system’s latest iteration, she wrote, one that had even those closest to her thinking it was hers.

Altman didn’t help his case when he tweeted simply, “her” on X.

“As a result of their actions, I was forced to hire legal counsel,” Johansson wrote. After her attorneys contacted Altman and OpenAI demanding to know how they created the voice, the company “reluctantly” agreed to take it down.

Altman called the move a “pause” and said any similarity was unintentional and that the voice actor had been hired before he even reached out to Johansson.


“The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers,” Altman said. “Out of respect for Ms. Johansson, we have paused using Sky’s voice in our products. We are sorry to Ms. Johansson that we didn’t communicate better.”

Johannson was concerned not just for her own sake, but also over the larger repercussions, calling on lawmakers to strengthen protections for individual sovereignty.

“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,” the star said. “I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected.”