Just as Donald Trump was transposed into the form of an infantile pageant princess and Barack Obama became Commander Tuvok from Star Trek via deepfake tech, so too will the Florida governor be morphed.
Given the nicknames attached to him by ne'er-do-wells with no respect for the governor's office, DeSantis can expect to be superimposed into any number of characters (perhaps the beloved Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, for starters).
The AI hijinks have already begun.
One deepfake producer who goes by "C3PMeme" appears to be at the forefront of doctored DeSantis-themed videos. He recently used deepfake software to transmute the Florida governor into the infamous "Ladypants" episode of the NBC sitcom The Office.
Ron Wears Lady Clothes... pic.twitter.com/PLC2shlfU0— C3PMeme (@C3PMeme) May 25, 2023
The video surfaced the same day a DeSantis PAC released altered footage of a 2022 speech by the governor, adding computer-generated fighter jets to the spectacle.
"This is a power suit!"
DeSantis-Scott then recounts how he found the suit while rummaging through a bargain bin.
"Everybody was rifling through them, and I grabbed one, and it fit. So I don't think this is totally just a woman's suit," the character insists.
Juxtaposing the governor with Scott works on so many levels for DeSantis' detractors — not only on account of the perceived insecurity and preoccupation with projecting masculinity that the two seemingly share, but also in view of the Florida governor's penchant for unfortunate wardrobe choices begetting meme fodder, from 2022's post-Hurricane Ian white boots fiasco to the high-heeled cowboy boots look and suit-tailoring debacle.
To make matters worse for the DeSantis camp, C3PMeme tweeted out the Office parody on Thursday, May 25 — the morning after DeSantis announced his 2024 presidential run and endured a glitch-plagued interview with Twitter owner Elon Musk.
The video has garnered more than 300,000 views (and counting). But that's only the tip of the virality iceberg, as Donald Trump Jr.'s retweet of the deepfake has notched more than half a million views on its own.
The Dunder Mifflin gem was not C3PMeme's first deepfake DeSantis rodeo. In April, the digital mischief-maker made headlines when he put out a fabricated video that depicted Hillary Clinton endorsing DeSantis for president. (The video contains a disclaimer explaining it's fake and "made for giggles.")
C3PMeme doesn't reveal much about himself on his website. His profile mirrors that of the shiny Star Wars droid from which he drew his name.
"After celebrating the Sith eternal's defeat with the rest of the Resistance fighters, I turned to making dank memes," C3PMeme claims.
When it comes to satirizing, C3PMeme is an equal-opportunity prankster.
One of his most popular video series melds Donald Trump with the character of Fred Sanford in Sanford and Son while he's cracking wise on Nancy Pelosi. His YouTube account prominently features a Biden-bumbling compilation, which was played at a Trump rally.
In an interview on the "Stuck in the Middle" podcast, C3PMeme recalled how he got into producing political humor videos after he came across a fellow deepfake buff ridiculing the nation's top medical adviser at the time, Anthony Fauci. C3PMeme said he refined his video-doctoring skills in 2022 while sidelined during his recovery from a detached retina he suffered amid a bumpy ride on his tractor. His doctors advised him not to look up too often until he healed, so he rigged a computer setup at which he could safely stare as he produced his videos. For months, he had full use of only one eye during video-editing sessions.
"People love humor. People love — I call it quick and dirty. People's attention spans are zero," C3PMeme said. "That's the reality of what we are in now, and that's why I believe memes are so powerful."