When it comes to our media, including our movies and our television shows, it is pretty evident that there are major issues with age representation and age diversity. That’s why it’s so important that actors can request to have their ages removed from their IMDB pages now. According to Marissa G. Muller at Teen Vogue, recent California law will force IMDB and other casting sites to remove the age of an actor if he or she requests it. This is really empowering for actors because it helps put an end to the initial age discrimination that someone is “too old” or “too young” to play a certain role, or even to get an audition.
The new law, which was passed by California Governor Jerry Brown, is likely to help both male and female actors, but we think especially women in Hollywood. Many women in Hollywood report feeling that age out of being able to play a love interest or female lead far, far earlier than their male counterparts. And what roles are they left with? That of mothers or grandmothers. This, of course, unfairly limits what actresses can do, how much money they can earn, and so on. Ageism is a real issue for everybody, including actors.
Just last year, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal made headlines when she announced she wasn’t chosen for the part of a 55-year-old’s girlfriend because she was too old. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh,” Gyllenhaal told The Wrap.
And while, arguably, you can quickly find an actor’s birth date elsewhere on the internet or through word-of-mouth, removing it from IMDB is definitely a step in the right direction.