At first when I read about the lawsuit, I didn’t really take it seriously. Everybody’s birth dates are on imdb. I go on imdb practically every day in order to find out how old people are. I like to look at see the age differences between male and female actors playing opposite each other, and I always like to look at the ages of women who play the mothers of other actors because you know that most times the women are never old enough to have given birth to the actor or actress she is supposed to be the mother of. My latest check was for the age difference — 11 years — between Dana Delaney and Joanna Cassidy who play daughter and mother on the ABC show Body of Proof.
Ageism is a big problem for women in Hollywood. People don’t get hired for jobs because of their age. How many times have we seen an older man on a film married to a woman 20 years younger? This is so common in Hollywood that now when we see contemporaries on screen acting opposite each other we have to do a double take because that doesn’t seem normal.
This is an industry where women a lot of times put out to pasture when they hit 40, or sometimes even before 40. That’s why many women get surgery and many others feel pressures and develop eating disorders and other ailments.
That is the one big point of the lawsuit. The anonymous actress (who is revealed as Asian) is said to look a lot younger than her actual age which is approaching 40. She alleges that when her age appeared on imdb (which she claimed only was added after she signed up for the pay service imdbpro where she had to enter her birthdate) she lost jobs because casting agents thought she was too old for the parts she was getting and too young for the parts for 40 year old women.
Here is a piece of the suit:
In the entertainment industry, youth is king. 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 as she is thought to have less of an “upside,” therefore,casting directors, producers, directors, agents/managers, etc. do not give her the same opportunities, regardless of her appearance or talent.
Another part of the lawsuit is the point that imdb took the info that was supposedly secure and used it illegally to augment her profile. (Her name on imdb which she uses professionally and her legal name are different.)
But I’m thinking that this whole lawsuit sends a bad message to women and girls. It says that you need to lie about your age and that you shouldn’t own who you are. I know that it is very hard to get a job in Hollywood and that maybe people won’t say their age because of that issue, but we should be working more towards a time when people are valued for who they are not that they get jobs because they look older or younger than they really are.