It’s said that it’s rude to ask a woman her age. In fact, it’s only rude to ask women 30 and over about their digits. It’s far worse, however, to ask a woman with decades under her belt for her age and then to publish it for the world to see. An actress in Texas says it wasn’t just rude but financially costly for her when the movie database IMDB publicized her nearly over-the-hill age in 2008. Cue, Robert Murtaugh.
The Hollywood Reporter has a copy of the actress’s complaint against Amazon.com, which owns the Internet Movie Database, in which she alleges that everyone’s favorite website for figuring out who-that-guy-in-that-one-movie-was-and-what-was-that-other-movie-he-was-in-with-that-girl screwed her over after she signed up for a Pro IMDb account. After entering credit card information and personal details, including her birthdate, to start the account, her age all of a sudden appeared on her public profile page, “revealing to the public that Plaintiff is many years older than she looks,” according to her humble complaint.
Age isn’t just a number, says her counsel, “Internet lawyer” John Dozier, but a $1,075,000 number…
The actress, going by Jane Doe in her lawsuit (which we noted in Morning Docket), describes herself as “up-and-coming” and of Asian descent. She says the meanies at IMDb refused to take down her age when asked.
“In the entertainment industry, youth is king,” states the complaint, and “lesser-known forty-year-old actresses are not in demand.” Instead, Julianne Moore is tapped every time Hollywood needs a forty-ish female. Though she could play a younger character, Doe claims that she’s been passed over for those roles thanks to IMDb’s delicate disclosure. Furthermore, when she does try to get a gig as a 40-year-old character, she’s told she looks too young.
What’s an older-than-she-looks actress supposed to do? Answer: sue for fraud, breach of contract, and violation of consumer and privacy laws, while calling IMDb’s conduct “immoral,” “malicious,” “unscrupulous,” “outrageous,” “oppressive,” “unfair,” and “callous.”
Oh, hai, welcome to the Internet. The actress will likely not be happy to hear that Gawker has started a witchhunt to identify the wizened anonymous Asian actress behind the suit.
The actress’s lawyer tells Newsday that IMDb says it actually got Doe’s age from her agent. If true, this lawsuit is going to be a tough one, given Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and how difficult it may be to prove that a birthdate is to blame for the actress’s dry spell.
If she does win, though, perhaps she can at least land a role playing herself in a made-for-TV movie about the legal victory — assuming she hasn’t aged too much by the time the movie is filmed.
Actress Sues IMDb for $1 Million for Revealing Her Age [Hollywood, Esq.]
Which Actress Is Suing IMDb for Revealing Her Age? [Gawker]
Actress sues Amazon for revealing her age on IMDb [Newsday]