Two massive California industries are at odds over a proposed law awaiting the final signature of Governor Jerry Brown.
Assembly Bill 1687 would empower actors to force websites such as the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) to remove performers’ dates of birth.
The actors’ union sponsoring the bill said age discrimination in Hollywood is made worse by websites publishing the information. Opponents of the bill include the Internet Association, representing tech heavyweights such as Amazon (parent company of IMDb), Google and Facebook. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also opposes the bill.
If casting agents using IMDb are influenced by seeing the ages of performers, what are the consequences of that? What other solutions could help avoid age discrimination in Hollywood? If Sacramento and the courts, by way of this legislation, force websites to remove ages of performers, would that violate the companies’ Constitutional right to free speech?
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists); SAG-AFTRA is the official sponsor of the bill
Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation; EFF is formally opposing the bill