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Actress Suing IMDB (Amazon) For $1 Million For Revealing Her Age (Things That Make You Go Hmm...)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 18, 2011 at 9:17AM

If I hadn't dated a few actresses in my adult life, and listened to them talk about their professional experiences, I may not have completely understood this lawsuit; one example, a late-20-something-year-old actress who usually gets cast in teen roles (because she looks and sounds like a teen) may jeopardize what could be a lucrative stream of gigs in which she's cast as a teen, if her true late-20-something age is revealed and widely known. This is probably more of a concern for *struggling* actresses and actors, than for those who are already *established."
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If I hadn't dated a few actresses in my adult life, and listened to them talk about their professional experiences, I may not have completely understood this lawsuit; one example, a late-20-something-year-old actress who usually gets cast in teen roles (because she looks and sounds like a teen) may jeopardize what could be a lucrative stream of gigs in which she's cast as a teen, if her true late-20-something age is revealed and widely known. This is probably more of a concern for *struggling* actresses and actors, than for those who are already *established."

There's a longer explanation, so consider this the condensed version. I'll leave the elaborate response to our readers who happen to be actors/actresses, as I'm guessing their opinions on the matter vary.

Here's the report, courtesy of MSN Entertainment:

SEATTLE (AP) -- An actress is suing Amazon.com in federal court in Seattle for more than $1 million for revealing her age on its Internet Movie Database website and refusing to remove the reference when asked.

The actress is not named in the lawsuit filed Thursday that refers to her as Jane Doe. It says she lives in Texas and is of Asian descent and has an Americanized stage name.

Search: Actresses over 40

The lawsuit accuses IMDb of misusing her personal information after she signed up for the industry insider IMDbPro service in 2008. Shortly thereafter, she noticed her legal date of birth had been added to her public acting profile. She requested that it be removed and IMDb refused, the lawsuit says.

"If one is perceived to be 'over-the-hill,' i.e., approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work as she is thought to have less of an 'upside,' therefore, casting directors, producers, directors, agents-manager, etc. do not give her the same opportunities, regardless of her appearance or talent," the lawsuit states.

While she loses opportunities because of her age, she's also missing work because of her youthful appearance, the lawsuit says.

"Plaintiff has experience rejection in the industry for each "40-year-old" role for which she has interviewed because she does not and cannot physically portray the role of a 40-year-old woman," the lawsuit says.

The online retailer and its movie database subsidiary, both based in Seattle, are accused of breach of contract, fraud, and violation of privacy and consumer protection laws.

The lawsuit seeks $75,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

Calls and emails to Amazon and IMDb seeking comment Tuesday were not immediately returned.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm...


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