A remarkable deepfake video featuring Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis transformed into the beloved character Michael Scott from "The Office" is spreading rapidly across Twitter, a stark reminder of how artificial intelligence can be weaponized against political figures.
With DeSantis' face seamlessly superimposed onto Steve Carell's character, the deepfake video captures a scene from "The Negotiation," an episode in the show's third season.
In the deepfake video, the character Darryl Philbin playfully mocks DeSantis-as-Scott, humorously questioning his choice of attire by asking if he is wearing "lady clothes." Reacting indignantly, the deepfake DeSantis defends himself by stating that he is wearing a "power suit" and denies buying women's clothing.
"I do not buy women's clothes."
In a humorous twist, the deepfake character flips the coat to reveal a label reading "MISSterious," sparking further discussion among the office staff about his choice of outfit.
You can see the video below.
While the deepfake video featuring DeSantis as Michael Scott in women's clothing may appear to be a direct response to his recent attacks against the LGBTQ+ community, including the signing of anti-drag legislation, it is important to note that deepfake videos are created and circulated by various individuals with different motives.
The video's content, where DeSantis-as-Scott vehemently denies wearing women's clothing, does on the surface appear to be a satirical take on the governor's actions.
Indeed, DeSantis has faced criticism for signing legislation that imposes fines and threatens to revoke licenses of venues permitting minors to witness what is classified as "adult live performances." The law's definition of drag as inherently sexual has drawn significant controversy and sparked concerns about potential infringement on LGBTQ+ rights.
In actuality, the video was created by Twitter user @C3PMeme, a supporter of former President Donald Trump who has been attacking DeSantis—Trump's main competition—with increased fervor since the former announced a 2024 presidential bid.
Regardless, people couldn't get enough of the video.
@C3PMeme's deepfake video comes as DeSantis' presidential bid puts him on a collision course with Trump.
Since DeSantis entered the presidential race, Trump's camp has launched a series of attacks against him and the deepfake video is merely the latest instance of artificial intelligence being employed against DeSantis to undermine his campaign.
Last week, Trump shared an unusual video that mocked DeSantis' entrance into the race during a glitch-ridden Twitter event hosted by Elon Musk, the billionaire Twitter CEO.
In Trump's version of events, the video portrayed not only Musk and DeSantis but also featured Adolf Hitler, the devil, a coughing Dick Cheney, billionaire George Soros, World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab, and an FBI agent openly discussing a plot to "take out" Trump.