“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,” said the guilds. “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.”
”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,” they said. “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.”
In order to understand what’s going on here, I think it’s important to look at this issue from both perspectives. One one hand, it must be incredibly tough to be a 45-year-old actress. Outside of like three roles a decade (all given to Sandra Bullock), Hollywood tends to pin women into two categories: “young hot starlet” or “spinster/Mom.” Obviously, the former pays better and gives you the chance extend your career in a cutthroat industry. On the other hand, as long as IMDb keeps doing this, the two sides will keep fighting about it and it will give me a chance to post banner pics where I pretend Abe Vigoda is reading for roles in teen movies, which is HILARIOUS to me.
So, yeah, both sides make some pretty valid points.