IMDb Lawsuit Shows Age Discrimination Kills Acting Careers

Filed under: Discrimination,Labor,Legal,News |

Age discrimination is rampant, but no where is it more apparent than the entertainment business.

lea michele

Lea Michele, 26 plays a high schooler on Glee.

In the old days, actors and especially actresses, could manipulate their birth dates and get away with obfuscation. Actors and actresses could also be considered for roles playing characters much younger than their actual ages.

But this is the 21st century and we have the Internet.

From the Los Angeles Daily News:

In October, an actress filed suit against Amazon and its subsidiary, the Internet Movie Database, for posting her birth date on the latter website.

The world’s most comprehensive repository of information about films, television shows and just about everybody who’s ever worked on them, IMDb has become the standard reference for not only journalists and fans, but increasingly for folks in the industry who want to check out potential hires.

The actress, who remains anonymous but is described as pushing 40 and appearing much younger, complains that by posting her birth date, IMDb effectively destroyed her career – which had been exclusively playing younger women.

How? With actors’ real ages virtually at their fingertips on the increasingly relied-on IMDb, casting directors and their bosses, producers and directors have grown ever more reluctant to even audition performers whose ages aren’t within a few years of the desired age for the role.

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