AI Has Put a Weird New Face on an Old Amazon Prime Video Problem


AI has been used to put a terrifying new face to a long-running issue with Amazon’s Prime Video service.

Earlier this week, a screenshot was posted on X showing a few different options for watching the iconic 1957 version of 12 Angry Men on Prime Video. At first glance, there’s nothing strange about that but on closer inspection, it’s apparent the thumbnail for the free-to-stream version of the crime classic has clearly been created by AI.

Not only are there 19 angry men on the jury, but a majority of their faces are warped beyond recognition.

Social media has been having a field day. “Prime Video is advertising a free version of 12 Angry Men with a crappy AI rendering of 19 deformed men. What garbage,” wrote one X user.

“Just watching that classic movie on Prime Video, 19 Terrifying Men,” reads another post, that’s been viewed over 1.6million times. “Absolutely incredible that this is on the front page of a major streaming platform. We have truly entered the era of AI slop.”

However rather than a bootleg copy of 12 Angry Men, the AI thumbnail takes subscribers to the original version of the film, uploaded by Orion-Nova Productions. The studio was acquired by MGM in the 90s. The second has been uploaded by MGM themselves.

So why are there two versions of the same film on Amazon Prime Video, for different prices and why would a studio promote their own film with messy AI artwork?

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Decrypt.

On Reddit, another user suggested that this now-viral thumbnail is the end result of content creators being allowed to upload their own videos to Amazon’s streaming service via the Video Direct function, with many looking to make a quick buck by uploading bootleg versions of classic films.

“Amazon gets more ‘movies’ and engagement for Prime Video, and the bottomfeeders get some easy money. Everyone wins – except people who care about film quality,” they wrote.

But this is nothing now. It’s been a long-running issue for Prime Video, which brings together a number of different channels for its library.

It seems the version of “12 Angry Men” with the original artwork can be rented directly from Amazon, while the AI-promoted film comes from the Freevee platform. Really, it’s an issue with the streamers’ search function that’s causing these issues, rather than viewers butchering classics with AI.

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

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