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Netflix true crime documentary 'What Jennifer Did' accused of using AI-manipulated photos

By AYIE LICSI Published Apr 21, 2024 4:33 pm

What Jennifer Did, a Netflix true crime story, has been accused of using AI images of the documentary's main subject Jennifer Pan.

ICYMI, the film follows the story of Jennifer, a then-24-year-old who hired three hitmen to kill her parents in 2010. Her mother, Bich Ha Pan, was killed in the staged home invasion while her father, Huei Hann Pan, survived but suffered injuries.

With the retelling of her story, some eagle-eyed users from tech site Futurism and TikTok have spotted that some of the photos used in the Netflix documentary were AI-manipulated.

What Jennifer Did showed some photos to illustrate the young perpetrator's personality. She was pictured wearing a red dress and posing with peace signs.

However, the photos "have all the hallmarks" of an AI-generated photo, as Futurism noted. Her hands appeared to be mangled, with some fingers missing, and her background featured some morphed objects.

Another picture had Pan with misshapen teeth—one of the front teeth is too long—and mismatched ears and earrings.

The documentary's executive producer Jeremy Grimaldi, however, refuted these claims, telling the Toronto Star that the images "are real" and that the team "used photo editing software to anonymize" them.

"Any filmmaker will use different photos, like Photoshop, in films. The photos of Jennifer are real photos of her. The foreground is exactly her. The background has been anonymized to protect the source," he said.

What Jennifer Did was released on April 10 on Netflix and would land the top spot in the streamer's movie charts. It includes clips of the young suspect's interview with investigators, her family's close friends, neighbors, Jennifer's teachers, and friends. However, there are no direct interviews with Jennifer or her father.

Jennifer is currently serving a life sentence at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario and will be eligible for parole around 2040.