Did ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ Doc Pass Off AI Image as Historical Photo?

viewers argue ai generated image or real historical photo in welcome to wrexham documentary

Viewers are questioning whether a “photograph” that appeared in the critically acclaimed Welcome to Wrexham documentary is a genuine historical photo or an artificial intelligence (AI) generated image.

The Welcome to Wrexham documentary series chronicles the purchase and stewardship of Welsh soccer team Wrexham AFC by Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.

However, viewers were left perplexed after a questionable image that supposedly showed Welsh laborers appeared in an episode in the second season of the Welcome to Wrexham series.

The Mirror reports that the image of the 12 Welsh workers accompanied an episode that told the history of the city’s local brewery Wrexham Lager. According to the documentary, the brewery was founded by German Otto Isler and Ivan Levinstein in 1882.

However, fans immediately took to the Midjourney subreddit to question the legitimacy of the “historical photograph” — with many viewers claiming that the image was actually AI-generated.

‘This is Almost Certainly AI’

Midjourney Redditors brought up several supposed incongruities in the purportedly historical photograph — including “a floating beer jug.”

Floating beer jug
The beer jug appears to be floating mid-air.
Man with odd face
This man’s face and fingers seem off.

Several Redditors highlighted the distinctively AI-looking hands and bizarre eyes of the man on the left of the picture. Others also commented on the strange hands of the man on the far right of the image.

“There’s the guy on the left with some wonky eyes and a peculiar unrealistic left hand — hands are the best way to spot an AI-generated picture,” a user notes.

Many Redditors also said that the items that appeared in the photo in Welcome to Wrexham were not historically accurate, such as the silver tankards held by the workers.

“This is almost certainly AI,” a user declares.

“From a basic historical perspective, a bunch of details are wrong. Half the men are holding silver tankards which isn’t something working-class people typically owned, much less drank beer from.”

‘It’s a Real Photo — But AI Enhanced’

Meanwhile, other Redditors argued that the image was a genuine photograph — but had the characteristics of a low-quality historical image that had been upgraded with AI technology.

“I think it’s a real photo but AI-enhanced to make what would be a fairly blurry picture sharp. However, there are limits to AI technology,” a user writes.

Another asks: “Have you considered: real photo in the middle, extended with AI content on either side to accommodate the aspect ratio?”

PetaPixel reached out to the production company behind Welcome to Wrexham for clarification who did not respond as of publication.

Image credits: All photos via Welcome to Wrexham.