Megan Thee Stallion calls out ‘fake’ sexually explicit video circulating on X

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion is the latest female celebrity to speak out after being targeted with a sexually explicit deepfake video that circulated on X over the weekend.

“It’s really sick how yall go out of the way to hurt me when you see me winning,” Megan Thee Stallion posted on X on Saturday.

The artist, whose real name is Megan Pete, appeared to be alluding to the video circulating online. She wrote it was “fake,” adding, “Just know today was your last day playing with me and I mean it.”

Deepfakes refer to digital media that are generated or altered using artificial intelligence or other visual or audio manipulation tools. Some of the most prominent examples “face-swap” individuals, overwhelmingly women and girls, into pornographic or sexually suggestive material. Both public and private figures have been targeted, and deepfake creators can even profit from selling the material online.

A spokesperson for Roc Nation, which represents Megan Thee Stallion, declined to comment.

NBC News viewed 18 posts on X that contained the fake video of Megan Thee Stallion, including one that juxtaposed it with the original video that had been used to create the deepfake. Six of the posts had more than 30,000 views each.

By Monday afternoon, after NBC News had reached out for comment, it appeared that some of the posts had been removed from the platform.

A spokesperson for X said the platform’s “rules prohibit the sharing of non-consensual intimate media and we are proactively removing this content.”

The Elon Musk-owned platform, formerly known as Twitter, has previously been used to spread AI-generated deepfakes of celebrity women, most notably when a series of fake nude and sexually suggestive images of Taylor Swift went viral on the platform. The New York Times reported that one post was viewed 47 million times before it was taken down. In response to the incident, the platform paused the ability to search Swift’s name for three days.

Other celebrities without Swift’s level of fame have struggled to get the platform to take down sexually explicit deepfakes, including Marvel star Xochitl Gomez, who said her team could not get the material removed, even though she was just 17 at the time. Later, X removed some deepfakes of Gomez after NBC News reached out. Multiple TikTok stars have also been targeted with sexually explicit deepfakes on X.

Megan Thee Stallion, whose Hot Girl Summer Tour sold out arenas across the U.S., has been a frequent target of online harassment since she was shot in the foot by rapper Tory Lanez in 2020. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2023. One of the same hip-hop news commentators who cast doubt on the shooting incident during the trial said during a livestream that she “drew attention” to the sexually explicit deepfake of the rapper over the weekend.

Previously, a legal representative for Megan Thee Stallion said they were “exploring all legal options” related to misinformation spread about her by bloggers.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com