'South Park' Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone Explain Why They Made 'Sassy Justice'
"Before the big scary thing of coronavirus showed up, everyone was so afraid of deepfakes. We just wanted to make fun of it because it makes it less scary."
Published Oct 29, 2020Trey Parker and Matt Stone's new deepfake series Sassy Justice has accumulated hundreds of thousands of views since launching online a few days ago. The comedy showunners gained viral attention this week for slapping contemporary villainous faces onto a cast of satirists, in an effort, they say, to make deepfakes feel less like an existential threat.
In a new interview, the creators spoke about their new show made with collaborator Peter Serafinowicz following the release of the South Park COVID special.
"Before the big scary thing of coronavirus showed up, everyone was so afraid of deepfakes," Stone told the New York Times. "We just wanted to make fun of it because it makes it less scary."
Parker added: "It really is this new form of animation for people like us, who like to construct things on a shot-by-shot level and have control over every single actor and voice. It's a perfect medium for us."
The showrunner duo revealed that the project was one of the most expensive YouTube videos they've ever produced. Despite that, they plan to continue work on Sassy Justice through their newly formed Deep VooDoo studio, either as a movie or series — even if the star of the show, Donald Trump, ends up getting booted from the White House after next week's American election.
The first seven episodes of the series made their way to YouTube earlier this week. The uploads feature deepfakes of Trump alongside Julie Andrews, Mark Zuckerberg, Al Gore, Jared Kushner (played by Parker's 7-year-old daughter, Betty), Michael Caine and Chris Wallace.
Serafinowicz, who adopts Trump's face for the series, has embraced the dystopic technology, explaining his belief that deepfakes are just a new form of costume or makeup.
"I imagine myself looking like the person that I'm doing," he said. "Now that's become real. It's like wearing the most realistic mask possible. When it works, it's just startling. It's like magic."
Even though shooting in lockdown proved to be a challenge for the crew, ultimately, the nature of deepfake videos lends itself swimmingly to remote filming. Armed with a staff of 20 deepfake artists, Parker and Stone predict that the series, in whatever form it will take, will continue to take aim at "whatever's going on in the world."