California Tells IMDB That Actor Ages Aren’t Fair Game On Their Site

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It’s no secret that youth is the lifeblood of the entertainment industry. Hollywood’s soulful reverence for youth borders on religious, and nearly the entirety of Tinseltown serves as its ornate altar. Women are much more likely to suffer professional handicaps due to their age, and waves of actresses and filmmakers have spoken out against the industry’s age-obsessed sexism. It’s in response to the ubiquitous ageism in Hollywood that California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law new regulations that will require IMDb and other entertainment sites to delete actors’ ages at their behest.

The legislation, enacted on Saturday, aims to address the prevalent age discrimination undivorceable from Hollywood hiring strategies. Although ageism is illegal at the state and federal level, Majority Leader Ian Calderon says it “persists in the entertainment industry” and the new law “provides the necessary tools to remove age information from online profiles on employment referral websites to help prevent this type of discrimination.” The law specifically targets database sites, like IMDB and the Studio System, which are routinely consulted for casting decisions.

However, opponents of the law insist it represents a violation of free speech and could lead to the demonization of factual information. “This is not a question of preventing salacious rumors; rather it is about the right to present basic facts that live in the public domain,” said Internet Association president and CEO Michael Beckerman. “Displaying such information isn’t a form of discrimination and internet companies should not be punished for how people use public data.”

(Via Hollywood Reporter)