Here in Southern California, many local residents may have aspirations to someday become part of the region’s huge entertainment industry. For many, that means working day and night secure an audition if they want to become an actor or actress. In this occupational arena, image is everything and most aspiring or currently working actors do all they can to put their best foot forward. For those in the entertainment industry, as well as in most other industries, age discrimination laws can be a powerful protection against workplace discrimination.
Some readers may be familiar with the popular website IMDb.com, which stands for Internet movie database. While some may enjoy scrolling through the entertainment topics for fun, many aspiring actors use the IMDb Pro version of the site — which one must pay for — in order to find work as an actor. Not surprisingly, many do not want their age to appear on the website, as they may face discrimination as a result.
Last year, California’s governor passed a bill known as AB 1687, which focuses on the topic of age discrimination in the entertainment industry. The bill essentially lets paying users of the IMDb Pro site to have their age or date of birth taken off their profile on the site. For its part, IMDb, which is owned by Amazon, sued the state of California in response, arguing that IMDb was unfairly targeted since so much biographical information about people is available on other websites.
If IMDb refuses to comply with AB 1687, the site may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Still, it remains to be seen whether the popular website will follow the law or remain on its current path. Those in any industry who believe they may have been a victim of age discrimination may want to speak with an employment discrimination attorney on their own in order to know their employee rights and defend them assertively.
Source: Forbes, “IMDb Refuses to Comply with California’s Age Discrimination Laws,” Bryan Sullivan, Jan. 11, 2017