CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New California Law Attempts To Fight Hollywood Ageism By Censoring Third-Party Websites

Techdirt: Actress Junie Hoang may have lost her legal battle against IMDb for revealing her age, but the California Assembly is ensuring she'll win the war. Hoang sued IMDb for $1 million, claiming the publication of facts without her permission had resulted in her being a victim of Hollywood ageism. IMDb won the lawsuit, but Governor Jerry Brown has just signed a bill into law that will prevent sites like IMDb from publishing actors' ages.


Xinyi Wang said...

I think that in casting the literal number of age should not be a direct indication of someone’s physical appearance, skills, and merit. In other words, age does not define one's qualification for a particular role. It definitely is an important factor in casting, but often times the number alone doesn’t show the full picture and leads to actors and actresses being unfairly filtered out. The article implies that the passing of the law is a form of censorship, but I don’t think I agree with that. Once an actor or actress puts their profile online, they still have full control of what information they want to reveal, and a site like IMDb has no right to freely dispose their information while waving the flag of “free speech.” Also, the law is not banning the publication of age; it is simply giving actors and actresses more power over their own information. I agree with the article in that the passing of a law like this truly “shoots the messenger rather than addresses the underlying problem.” But it is still important to recognize its intent as privacy protection rather than censorship.

Lia Jennings said...

There is a fine line on what is open to the public and what should not be. IMdB is an interesting line because what it does is give information to casting folks and other people who want to know actors information but when is it too much? I can see why someone would not want their age on that cite because it could affect future work but based on one of my previous comments there is only so much you can hold back from the world in today’s entertainment society. I honestly think that casting companies should not base their casting on only age. Don’t keep someone out of the ranking based on their age because you never know if they play younger on stage or on screen. We always talk about discrimination of race and that is important to get away with but there also is the discrimination of age too.