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Sassy Justice refers to a web television series created by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone with Peter Serafinowicz that uses deepfake technology to place various real-world celebrities, politicians and other influential people into the fictional world of a satirical news reporter named Fred Sassy. The series was created by Deep Voodoo studio, which is comprised of several computer graphics artists. The first episode debuted on YouTube in late October 2020.
Although the web series was interrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sassy Justice was originally created by Deep Voodoo, a studio made up of more than a dozen computer graphics artists assembled for a film project, alongside Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Peter Serafinowicz. The concept is based on Serafinowicz’s impressions of a sassy Donald Trump and uses deepfake tech to transform real people into fictional characters following a satirical reporter named Fred Sassy with the face of Trump. Centered around reporter Fred Sassy (played by Serafinowicz) of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Sassy investigates the news itself, including dangers posed by media manipulation and fake news.
The first episode was uploaded to Sassy Justice’s YouTube channel on October 26th, 2020, featuring a 15-minute episode with plans to either turn it into an ongoing series or film. The first episode, which features deepfakes of Al Gore, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Caine, received over 1.5 million views, 47,000 likes and 3,700 comments in two weeks after premiering (seen below).
The original YouTube channel for Sassy Justice was created on September 12th, 2013, but didn’t post any content until the first episode on October 26th, 2020. Since joining the platform, the channel has received over 2.2 million views in roughly seven years.
Sassy Justice also has a dedicated website, as well as several social media accounts. On September 24th, the Facebook page for the show was created, accumulating more than 4,900 likes and 6,500 followers in about two months. On Instagram, the Sassy Justice account made its first post on October 25th (shown below), receiving over 13,800 views and 870 likes, as well as 6,300 followers in over two weeks. Also in October, the series created a Twitter account, accumulating over 6,600 followers in two weeks.
Between October 26th – 28th, following the premiere, several online media outlets covered the show, including BoingBoing, NME and AV Club. On October 29th, the NY Times interviewed Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Peter Serafinowicz in order to breakdown how and why they created the first episode.
"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," Stone said.
"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," Parker said.