Actress Suing IMDb Can Proceed with Lawsuit, But Parts of the Case are Dismissed


U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman has ruled that the age discrimination lawsuit filed by actress Huang Hoang against IMDb for posting her actual date of birth on the internet’s most popular movie website can proceed, although according to The Hollywood Reporter some parts of the lawsuit have been dismissed. 

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The central argument of Hoang’s case — her claim that IMDb had taken her age from her credit card information without her permission and thus not only breached her IMDbPro contract (by the site violating its own privacy policy) but also violated consumer protection laws — remains. Amazon (the parent company of IMDb) will have to reveal how it got Hoang’s information, and whether or not it was gained legally.

But the judge has tossed out Hoang’s claim of fraud and her claim that IMDb violated the Washington Privacy Act, claiming that the evidence Hoang presented does not justify those claims. 

Furthermore, the judge also tossed out Hoang’s asking of $1 million in damages, with the point that Hoang would have to produce witnesses to openly admit that the reason she wasn’t hired for jobs was her age, which would prove that IMDb revealing her age caused her damages.  Since I doubt anyone working in casting would outright admit ageism (which would open a tremendously bad can of worms for that individual), that wasn’t likely to happen anyway.

It’s hard not to see this development as a victory for IMDb, since it limits Hoang’s suit by dismissing some of the uglier accusations in the case (along with getting rid of the $1 million in damages, of course).  This continues to take the case away from the use of “ageism” in casting and moves it into the realm of internet privacy, which analysts predicted.  Honestly, it wasn’t likely that this case alone would end the century-old casting trends of Hollywood, anyway.  Now it’s up to Hoang to decide whether or not she will continue with the case.

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