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Some of the Most Viral Images of the Met Gala Were Actually Fake

Ah… The Met Gala. Nothing makes me feel like a citizen of The Hunger Games universe more than watching a bunch of celebrities parade around in multi-thousand dollar cat costumes. It does my heart good to see my news feed populated with rich people I don’t care about having fun at a party that I wasn’t invited to. Do I sound jaded? Sorry, but I just can’t shake the icky feeling I get everything time this one percenter carnival of wealth comes around. It’s like watching a diamond encrusted plane go down in flames. It’s like watching tech bros roasting marshmallows over a burning Rembrant painting. It’s like listening to an audio book made up entirely of Grimes tweets. It just isn’t my thing. Apparently I’m not alone. Plenty of celebrities scorned the Met Gala this year and decided to do other (hopefully useful?) things with their time. Two of those celebrities were Selena Gomez and Zendaya.

Except you’d never know it, because the internet says they were there.

A fake Zendaya and a fake Selena picture have both been making their rounds across the Twiiter-verse, but fans were convinced they were real. According to Twitter, the image of Selena (which has received almost 400,000 likes) is actually just a doctored image of Lily James at the 2022 Met Gala. The image of Zendaya is actually just a doctored image that features the star’s face on the body of Rita Ora. Twitter users were not pleased.

So what happened? Who is responsible? Was it AI? Is this the beginning of the AI takeover of the internet? Are they using doctored images to divide and distract us while they comb through classified government files and hack into nuclear launch sites? Surprisingly, no. It was a healthy, entirely human mix of Photoshop and faceswap plus a little face tune thrown in there for good measure. I mean, c’mon. Look at the Zendaya photo and tell me that’s the same lighting on the face as it is on the body? An AI would never be that sloppy.

So where were Zendaya and Selena?

According to Teen Vogue, Selena was scheduled to be in Paris filming for “Emilia Perez,” an upcoming musical crime comedy she’s starring in with Karla Sofia Gascón and Zoe Saldana. As for Zendaya, we don’t know. Last year she missed it because she was working. This yea, she was likely working again. Respect.

In all honesty I’m just sour because the late, great Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette wasn’t there. Can we get the AI to photoshop her mauling Jared Leto instead? Asking for a friend.

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.