Actress Sues Amazon And IMDb For Revealing Her Real Age

By David Wharton 2011-10-18 16:09:07discussion comments
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It's no secret that it's hard for an actress to maintain her career as she gets older in Hollywood. Movies and TV demand a constant supply of fresh-faced, young -- emphasis on young -- talents in the ongoing search for the next "It Girl." For every actress whose talent bolsters her success long after she ventures outside the prime 18-35 age bracket there are hundreds who are shoved aside for the next crop of CW-ready hopefuls with stars in their eyes. Like it or not, ageism is alive and well in the entertainment business, so it's not at all surprising to think that some actresses might fudge the numbers a bit when it comes to revealing their real age. That sad fact is front and center in a $1 million lawsuit that's been leveled against Amazon, who owns the film industry site IMDb.

According to the AFP, the unnamed Texas actress -- listed as "Jane Doe" in the suit -- signed up for IMDb's pay site, IMDb Pro, back in 2008. One thing she intentionally did not include in her profile was her real age and birthday, concerned that those revelations might hurt her chance of landing certain roles. She was understandably upset when that info subsequently popped up on her profile anyway, revealing, as the suit puts it, "that the plaintiff is many years older than she looks." The suit claims the revelation of her real age will hurt her career on two levels: potential employers might decide she's too old to get roles she looks young enough to play, but she looks too young to play roles in her actual age range. But hey, at least she's got her looks...

Moreover, the actress is alleging that the age info was obtained by IMDb by doing record searches using the credit card she used to pay for her membership. She is suing for fraud, breach of contract, and violations of her private and consumer rights. That might be tricky to prove, but could be bad news for IMDb if she can, especially since the Pro service is theoretically aimed at professionals in the entertainment industry and that would be a significant breach of trust.

Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako declined to comment on the case. You can read the text of the suit right here.
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