Disney Star Hospitalized After Serious Fall

Stephen Fry Hospitalized
Credit: Disney

If you are a fan of Disney, Harry Potter, the BBC, or pretty much anything in Hollywood, then you have most likely heard of British actor Stephen Fry. Fry was born in London in 1957 and is a talented actor, director, writer, broadcaster, narrator, and comedian. Since his first role in Chariots of Fire (1981), Fry has starred in more than 180 projects, including several for Disney.

Stephen Fry

Credit: BBC

He voiced Chessur (AKA The Cheshire Cat) in Disney’s live-action Alice in Wonderland (2010) and reprised the role in the sequel film, Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). He also voiced the Guide in the 2005 film, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as well as Dr. Crutchley in season 2 of Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures.

Chessur Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Cat

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Announces New Live-Action Moana!

On September 20, it was reported that Fry was rushed to the hospital after falling off of a stage after he spoke at CogX Festival — a technology conference held in London. Those reports stated that Fry fell about six feet. It was not reported what caused Fry to fall, but he was hospitalized for leg and rib injuries sustained in the fall.

Fry’s reps have not released a statement, but the group behind COGX were “deeply concerned” and said, “We are thinking of him and wishing him a swift recovery.”

Stephen Fry

Credit: Michael Garnett, Flickr

Fry’s AI Concerns

Those who love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series may know that Fry was the voice behind the Harry Potter audiobooks. It was his work on those books that have caused a lot of uproar in the entertainment industry. It was also the reason that Fry was attending the CogX Festival in the first place.

Disney lost Harry Potter to Universal

Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: New Harry Potter Series Will Last a Decade!

During his speech, he played an audio clip to the audience of him talking, only it wasn’t really him. When the recording stopped, Fry revealed that the voice they heard wasn’t actually him. It was entirely generated by artificial intelligence software. And it was done without his permission.

“I’m a proud member of [actors’ union SAG-AFTRA]. As you know, we’ve been on strike for three months now. And one of the burning issues is AI… I said not one word of that — it was a machine. Yes, it shocked me. They used my reading of the seven volumes of the ‘Harry Potter’ books, and from that dataset an AI of my voice was created, and it made that new narration.”

Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter

Credit: Warner Bros.

Fry continued to talk about the danger that could come from the unapproved use of artificial intelligence. Fry said that artificial intelligence could use his voice for anything — including public announcements to “storm Parliament to hard porn.” He said that when he found the recording, he sent it to his agents, who also had no idea it existed. According to Fry, they went “ballistic” when they found out.

Meredith Stiehm, left, president of Writers Guild of America West, and Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA

Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

Both SAG and the WGA have been on strike for months. One of the things that both unions are demanding is protection from the use of artificial intelligence. The WGA wants guarantees that film and television writers will not be replaced with artificial intelligence. SAG actors want guarantees that their image will not be artificially created and used for profit for decades, without the actor receiving proper compensation.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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