Anthony Bourdain’s Ex-Wife Reacts to Doc’s AI Recreation of His Voice

Anthony Bourdain’s estranged wife has denied granting filmmakers of a new documentary permission to use artificial intelligence to recreate his voice.

Roadrunner, which released in theaters on July 16, has come under fire for featuring a simulated version of the late culinary expert’s voice. Filmmaker Morgan Neville told GQ that a “few things he wrote but never said” were incorporated into the film using an AI model generated by more than 10 hours of audio of Bourdain speaking. 

The controversial decision, Neville claimed, was approved by those closest to Bourdain, who died by suicide in June 2018.

“I checked, you know, with his widow and his literary executor, just to make sure people were cool with that,” he said. “And they were like, Tony would have been cool with that. I wasn’t putting words into his mouth. I was just trying to make them come alive.” 

Ottavia Bourdain, who separated from the chef-turned-television host in 2016, rebuffed the statement in a tweet posted July 15.