Attribution: Copyright (C) 2002 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal Records Project,

Hollywood Does Not Want You to Know Actors’ Ages

I suspect we are going to see the Streisand Effect at work here. When Barbra Streisand sued to get pictures of her home taken off a website, people started spreading the picture everywhere. In addition to losing the lawsuit, she drew even more attention to her home. Eventually, that phenomenon became known as the “Streisand Effect.” When people demand information be taken off the internet, the opposite tends to happen.

Hollywood actors and actresses now want a law that strips their birthdates off websites like IMDB, the internet movie database.

According to the never ending busybody Andrea Zuckerman who has been out of high school for how long(!!) and she’s still at it,

What worries me is that my fellow actors are not being afforded the same opportunities today — actors who are trying to make a living and find their big break. They face blatant age discrimination every day as websites routinely used for casting talent — sites like IMDb and StudioSystem — force birthdates and ages on casting decision-makers without their even realizing it.

Naturally, they have a law in mind that has moved through the California legislature. It would force privately owned websites to delete the birthdates of actors and actresses. They claim it would only apply to websites that are “subscription-based entertainment websites,” so it would not actually chill free speech. Except I do not subscribe to IMDB and I can see that Gabrielle Carteris was born on January 2, 1961. The information was not forced on me. It was just information presented. I can choose to ignore it or not.

If Hollywood casting directors are biased because they can see someone’s birthdate, they have vastly bigger problems than being old. But that does not mean they should demand private companies delete public information because it might, might, cause people to realize how old an actor is.

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Erick Erickson

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