If you've ever been to IMDB, then you already have a pretty clear understanding of the website's layout. Actors and filmmakers have thoroughly detailed profiles that meticulously list their filmographies, along with very specific personal information. An actor's age has always been a prominent aspect of such a profile, but new a new California law will force a website like IMDB to remove such information at an actor's request.
According to a brand new report from THR, it seems that California Governor Jerry Brown has officially signed a law into effect that requires entertainment websites like IMDB to remove an actor's age from a profile upon request. If the site has not yet published the age, then the request could also serve to keep them from doing so in the first place. The intention of this legislation is to protect actors against widespread age discrimination, which -- while already illegal in all industries -- has become a widespread issue in Hollywood.
The creation of this law has sparked heated statewide debate regarding whether or not it's an appropriate action. Those who support the law believe that its a necessary piece of legislation to combat Hollywood age discrimination. On the other hand, the opponents of the law have argued that it's a violation of First Amendment rights to censor factual information like age on the Internet. It's ultimately a complex issue that doesn't really have a clear-cut answer.
Although this may seem like a fairly trivial matter on the surface, there's actually some fairly poignant rationale for putting this legislation into effect. The persistence of ageism in the Hollywood casting process has become a fairly high profile phenomenon in recent years, and this law hopes to take specific steps towards combating the practice. The issue reached a fever pitch last year when Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed that, at 37-years-old, she was considered "too old" to portray the love interest of a 55-year-old male actor. Ageism takes the meritocracy out of Hollywood, and creates an unfair advantage for someone simply because they're younger.
With that in mind, the issue of ageism has received quite a bit of attention recently -- particularly from the female side of Hollywood. Prominent actress like Sandra Bullock and Helen Mirren have vocally spoken out against the practice, and this piece of legislation seems like an earnest attempt to move in a more egalitarian direction.
It's hard to deny that there definitely seems to be a double standard in Hollywood when it comes to the ages of men and women. While men like Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, and Daniel Craig, get to play action heroes and sex symbols well into their 40s, actresses are generally given much shorter shelf lives, and find themselves in far more difficult situations when it comes to casting.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think it's right for IMDB to take down the age of an actor in an effort to avoid age discrimination, or is there another way to combat this widespread phenomenon? Let us know what you think in the comments section below to keep this conversation going.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.