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in Filmmaking
on Oct 29, 2011

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A couple of weeks ago on this blog Randy Astle wrote about an unnamed Texas actress’s lawsuit against IMDb for printing her age on her professional iMDB Pro profile. Many scoffed at the suit, wondering how an actress could sue an industry database for publishing accurate information.

While they haven’t gone so far as to join the suit, Hollywood’s two unions representing actors have made a public statement supporting its aim.

Reports The Guardian:

In a joint statement, the Screen Actors’ Guild, Sag, and Aftra, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, said IMDb had a “moral and legal obligation not to facilitate age discrimination in employment”.

The statement continued: “An actor’s actual age is irrelevant to casting. What matters is the age range that an actor can portray. For the entire history of professional acting, this has been true but that reality has been upended by the development of IMDb as an industry standard used in casting offices across America.”

The guild’s participation brings an interesting angle to this story. Producers aren’t supposed to ask actors their age when considering them for a part. But, as the statement continues, “Entertainment industry employers who would never directly ask a potential employee’s age routinely access that information through IMDb and its professional subscription site IMDbPro.”

No response yet from IMDb or its corporate parent, Amazon.

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