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The publisher of the German magazine that ran a phony, AI-generated interview with Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher has apologized and fired their editor-in-chief.
Die Aktuelle published the interview which featured “quotes” from Schumacher. Most knew something was up immediately. Schumacher hasn’t been seen in public since 2013 suffering a serious brain injury while skiing in 2013.
The phony interview concluded with an admission that it had been generated by AI. However, the issue’s cover gave the impression it was a real interview.
This understandably angered the Schumacher family who planned to pursue legal action against the magazine.
Perhaps trying to avoid a legal battle, FUNKE, the publishing house behind Die Aktuelle, released an apology.
“This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared. It in no way meets the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publishing house like FUNKE,” FUNKE the magazine’s managing director Bianca Pohlmann said in the company statement.
The statement also revealed that Die Aktuelle’s editor-in-chief, Anne Hoffman, received a pink slip due to the incident.
Hoffman had been in that same role since 2009. During that time, published several controversial and misleading articles about Schumacher and his family.
The Schumachers have worked hard to maintain privacy since the 2013 accident.
“‘Private is private,’ as he always said,” Schumacher’s wife Corinna said in the 2021 Neflitx documentary, Schumacher. “It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible. Michael always protected us, and now we are protecting Michael.”
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