On Tuesday, a federal judge declared a California law censoring IMDB from publishing its subscribers’ ages a violation of the first amendment.
The short-lived state law AB 1687 went into effect last year, and was intended to protect actors – primarily women – from facing age discrimination in Hollywood.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria gave a few different reasons for his decision, but focused heavily on the opinion that states cannot prevent facts from being published based on their potential for discrimination. Specifically, IMDB cannot be restricted from publishing facts such as a person’s age since no discriminatory direction is attached to the data.
According to the Los Angeles Times, SAG-AFTRA, a proponent of the law, intends to appeal the judge’s decision, stating he failed to understand that “discrimination is facilitated by IMDb’s insistence on publishing performers’ age information without their consent.”
But does the appeal hold a chance for success? And how effective would the law really be in preventing discrimination if it went back into effect?
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, general counsel and chief operating officer for SAG-AFTRA
Royal Oakes, partner at the Los Angeles offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP and general counsel for the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California