Justin Bieber falls for viral Tom Cruise deepfake, fans say singer is 'just like us'
It was only about two hours after his original post that Justin Bieber realized that the video didn’t actually feature the famed actor
There is some solace in knowing that pop star Justin Bieber has something in common with many people in the world. He is as susceptible to fake news as anyone. The ‘Baby’ hitmaker was reportedly fooled on Thursday, October 7 by a deepfake video of actor and Scientology advocate Tom Cruise.
As per the DailyDot, in numerous stories on his Instagram account, Bieber praised the actor while sharing footage of what he believed was Cruise playing the guitar. Tagging the official account of Cruise, Bieber stated that he was “impressed” with the actor’s supposed musical chops.
“@tomcruise I’m impressed with your guitar skills,” Bieber wrote. “But you could still catch these hands my boy.” The latter part of the message, presumably was about the pop star, once again, challenging the ‘Mission Impossible’ actor in a fight Bieber shared a black-and-white image of himself in a boxing ring on Instagram on January 2 with "Tom Cruise is toast," as the caption.
And in June 2019, Biever had tweeted, “I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon. Tom if you dont take this fight your scared and you will never live it down. Who is willing to put on the fight? @danawhite?”
I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon. Tom if you dont take this fight your scared and you will never live it down. Who is willing to put on the fight? @danawhite ?— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) June 10, 2019
The challenges to fights aside, Bieber seemed to be unaware that the video of Cruise playing the guitar was a deepfake. “ALL JOKES ASIDE @tomcruise your [sic] shredding on that guitar,” Bieber added in another story. It was only about two hours after his original post that Bieber realized that the video didn’t actually feature the famed actor -- no doubt having been informed by friends and fans. “That’s not really Tom Cruise?” Bieber wrote. “Lol, oh well, still hilarious.”
The video referenced by Bieber, per the DailyDot, originates from the TikTok parody account @deeptomcruise, which has racked up more than 2.9 million followers for its hyper-realistic deepfakes since first debuting in February this year. It was created by visual effects artist and deepfake creator Chris Ume. The clip in which the deepfake Cruise appears to sing and play the guitar was first posted to TikTok on August 29.
Ume told NBC News in March that he never wanted to trick people. He said that he hoped the sudden influx of attention could help bring greater awareness to the continued evolution of the technology. “The important thing is, we didn’t want to fool people at any moment,” the 31-year-old Belgian visual effects artist said. “If I can help in creating awareness, or even work on detection in the future, I would love to.”
Since his videos went viral on TikTok, Ume has released a visual effects breakdown of how he created them, in an attempt to help educate people on how they’re made and how difficult they can be to produce. “It’s not something you can do at home,” said Ume, who is part of a team of deepfake artists at Deep Voodoo, a visual effects studio assembled by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the show ‘South Park.’
Fans, of course, had fun. “justin bieber’s ig stories bout the tom cruise deepfake is killing me he really thought it was really him,” wrote one Twitter user. Another tweet said, “Justin Bieber is just like us. Enjoying that deep fake tom cruise. Lol.” One fan wrote, “Justin Bieber mistaking a deep fake of Tom Cruise for the real Tom Cruise is the cutest thing I've seen today. sadly that'll change in a few hours.”
justin bieber’s ig stories bout the tom cruise deepfake is killing me 😭 he really thought it was really him— 👻ãmśhî👻 (@amshinee) October 7, 2021
Justin Bieber is just like us. Enjoying that deep fake tom cruise. Lol 🤣🤣🤣🤣— ButterflyNoel🦋🌌 (@BeautifulLuvfly) October 8, 2021
Justin Bieber mistaking a deep fake of Tom Cruise for the real Tom Cruise is the cutest thing I've seen today.— astronak (@pariyarART) October 8, 2021
sadly that'll change in a few hours 😌