LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Here’s a fresh young twist on the topic of ageism in Hollywood — an actress has filed a $1 million lawsuit against show-business database IMDb and its owner, Amazon.com, because IMDb revealed her true age.
With her age made public, she fears she will get fewer roles.
The actress, listed only as Jane Doe in the suit, claims that the site obtained her personal data in 2008, when she subscribed to IMDb’s pay service, IMDb Pro, and subsequently listed her age in her bio.
“Shortly after subscribing to IMDbPro, plaintiff noticed that her legal date of birth had been added to her public profile ... revealing to the public that the plaintiff is many years older than she looks,” according to the suit.
“In the entertainment industry, youth is king,” the suit continues. “If one is perceived to be ‘over-the-hill,’ i.e. approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work.”
While the suit doesn’t list the aging thespian’s name, it does list her state of residence as Texas.
This isn’t the first age-related tangle that IMDb has encountered. The Writers Guild of America West waged a campaign in an effort to persuade the site not to list ages. Similarly, the Screen Actors Guild has requested that the site not list ages for lesser-known actors still trying to establish themselves despite their advancing ages.
The mere listing of ages isn’t the only issue. A producer told TheWrap that IMDb listed an incorrect age for him, and said the site was unresponsive when he attempted to contact them about removing the incorrect age and other information, including a personal email address.
“I could never get anybody on the phone,” the producer said. “It doesn’t seem fair that some profiles don’t have this information. Why do I want people to see where I was born.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report