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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Daniel Chavkin

Magazine Editor Fired After Publishing Fake Interview With Formula 1 Legend

Anne Hoffman, editor-in-chief of the German magazine Die Aktuelle, has been fired after publishing a fake, AI-generated interview with retired Formula 1 star Michael Schumacher. The magazine also apologized to Schumacher’s family after the interview ran on the magazine’s website earlier this month.

FUNKE, the parent company for Die Aktuelle, made the announcement Saturday. Hoffman had served as the magazine’s editor-in-chief since 2009.

“This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared,” Bianca Pohlman, managing director of FUNKE magazines, said in a statement originally published in German. “It in no way corresponds to the standards of journalism that we–and our readers–expect from a publisher like FUNKE.”

Schumacher, a seven-time Formula 1 world champion, hasn’t spoken in public since suffering a brain injury during a skiing accident in 2013. The magazine initially promoted the story as the first interview with Schumacher, going as far as to making it a cover story, but the publication was revealed that it was AI generated after Schumacher’s family threatened to sue.

Schumacher’s son, Mick, is a Formula 1 driver who spent two years with Haas F1 and is currently a reserve for Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1.

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