The Tom Holland and Nicki Minaj deepfake drama explained

Tom Holland and Nicki Minaj
(Image credit: Getty Images/Future)

ITVX's Deep Fake Neighbour Wars was announced to much fanfare back in January, but ended up slipping under the radar somewhat. But it looks like the show is finally starting to enjoy some of the viral success it seemed to be going for, with a little help from one of its so-called stars.

A scene from the show featuring deepfake versions of actor Tom Holland and rapper Nicki Minaj as a couple recounting a home invasion by the neighbour Mark Zuckerberg (yes, you read that right – it's probably easier if you just watch the clip below) has been brought to the attention of Minaj herself, who, in a typically understated fashion, has responded calling for the deletion of the entire internet. (Just wait till she sees the weirdest AI art ever created).

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I had to Google this (honest), but apparently the reason Minaj and Holland have been paired up for the clip is because of a long-running internet joke suggesting that the latter is the father of the former's baby (thanks, PopBuzz). And the ITV show does offer a pretty hilarious glimpse of what their fictional coupledom might look like  – if they lived in a suburb in Catford.

Like most deepfakes, it's the voice that gives it away – aural likenesses are still much harder to fake than visual ones, it seems, so ITV is relying on impressionists. And there's still that slight dead-behind-the-eyes look that AI can't seem to shake. But it's still impressive – enough for Nicki Minaj to suggest we pull the plug on the entire world wide web, at least.

From Tom Cruise to, er, cats, it seems nobody's safe from getting deepfaked right now – we've even experienced it ourselves. But for now, it's still possible to avoid getting deceived – here's how to tell if you're talking to a deepfake.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.