SAG and AFTRA ‘Deplore Age Discrimination Facilitated by IMDb’

The Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA just issued a joint press release about the lawsuit brought on by the actress suing IMDb and Amazon for displaying her age on the widely used site.

“Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA Deplore Age Discrimination Facilitated by IMDb.com and Similar Online Databases,” they wrote in their headline.

They follow it up by adding: “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.”

Go SAG, go!

“IMDb publishes the actual dates of birth of thousands of actors without their consent, most of them not celebrities but rank-and-file actors whose names are unknown to the general public. When their actual ages then become known to casting personnel, the 10+ year age range that many of them can portray suddenly shrinks, and so do their opportunities to work.” 

“Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists strongly believe that businesses like IMDb have a moral and legal obligation not to facilitate age discrimination in employment. 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. IMDb has the power to remove the temptation for employers to engage in age discrimination by accessing this information.”

Go ahead AFTRA. Give the final blow.

“We are disappointed that IMDb has rejected the efforts of Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and other entertainment industry unions, and workers to work together to reach a solution to this problem. It is time for IMDb to step up and take responsibility for the harm it has caused, and to take appropriate measures to protect entertainment industry workers, including actors, from losing jobs for the enhancement of IMDb’s financial statements.”

I swear, I don’t understand the big deal. Why is IMDb refusing to remove this feature? It’s a simple html fix and Boom! It’s gone forever.

I wonder with the lawsuit and this new pressure from the Unions if they’ll finally relent and take it away.

What’s weird for me is that my age isn’t listed on the site. I’m not sure how that happened but I’m glad that no one can figure out my true age of 57.

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