US law requires IMDb to remove actors’ ages


IMDb will have to start removing actors ages from its database if requested by an actor, after California moved on legislation requiring such.

The legislation, signed by Californian Gov. Jerry Brown was signed into law on the weekend. Online providers have five days to comply with a subscriber’s request to remove age information.

“Subscribers should have control over whether their age and date of birth are posted on subscription websites used for employment purposes,” Majority Leader Ian Calderon said in June. “AB 1687 provides a necessary clarification in the law that will help prevent age-based discrimination for individuals seeking employment in the entertainment industry.”

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said recently age discrimination was a major problem for the industry.

“SAG-AFTRA, which reps about 165,000 performers, said Saturday, “SAG-AFTRA has been working hard for years to stop the career damage caused by the publication of performers’ dates of birth on online subscription websites used for casting like IMDb and StudioSystem. Currently, many websites used for casting proactively present birthdates and ages to casting decision makers who often can’t avoid seeing this information even if they try. This law will help improve the working lives of all SAG-AFTRA members and aspiring performers.”

But opponents of the bill contended that removal of factually accurate age information across websites suppresses free speech.

In 2011 an actress filed a law suit claiming IMDb took information she provided when signing up for the IMDb Pro subscription service and used it to publish her age on the site. In 2013 a jury rejected her claim that IMDb breached a contract with her, refusing to remove it at her request.

Source: Variety


  1. Secret Squïrrel

    This is not about the free publicly-available IMDb. It’s about the professional subscription-based version which, along with StudioSystem and a few others, is used by people in the industry to inform casting decisions.

    People will still be able to use Google to try and find out an actor’s age, whether it’s on Wikipedia or a trashy online mag, so that won’t change.

    My only question is how is this going to be enforced? IMDb started in the UK but has since been bought by Amazon. Their HQ is in Washington, not California.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.