On Saturday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Customer Records Bill enabling actors and industry workers to remove their ages from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and other public accessible sites. The purpose of the law is to “ensure that information … regarding an individual’s age will not be used in furtherance of employment or age discrimination.”
Many top Hollywood folks expressed their support for the new law, but some legal experts have expressed concern over the implications of the law.
Your turn reporters. Stop listing ages in articles. I’m not ashamed of my age but of how it’s used against me https://t.co/ozej5xaBIC
— Aya Cash (@maybeAyaCash) September 26, 2016
Three cheers for the the amazing advocacy by SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, our late President Ken… https://t.co/TXF8ymKhVi
— Cathy Lilly (@cathylillynow) September 25, 2016
Longtime Hollywood PR guru Howard Bragman told FOX411 it’s about time age discrimination is talked about in the industry.
“It’s a good start to attacking the real problem of age discrimination in casting,” he said “I hope this is the beginning of greater opportunities for actors of all ages.”
And Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA, is thrilled with the passing of the new law.
“The bill will benefit countless performers for years to come, most of whom are unknown to the general public,” she said in a statement sent to FOX411. “This is not about our celebrity members; it’s about working actors who rely on auditions to continue to gain work and provide for their families and are being unfairly discriminated against based on age. No one is guaranteed a job because of this law, but at least they will have an equal opportunity to get that job.”
Earlier this month, Carteris wrote in The Hollywood Reporter that she would not have landed her role in “Beverly Hills, 90210” if her age was known.
“I would never have been called to audition for the part of 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman if they had known I was 29,” she wrote. “Electronic casting sites did not exist in 1990; today, they are prevalent and influential and they affect casting decisions even when casting personnel don’t recognize their unconscious bias.”
However, not everyone is pleased with the new law. Noah Theran, of the Internet Association, expressed his disapproval to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We are disappointed that AB 1687 was signed into law today,” he said. “We remain concerned with the bill and the precedent it will set of suppressing factual information on the internet.”
Plus, a handful of lawyers interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter said there is a chance the new law is unconstitutional.
“The statute seems to me of the most dubious constitutionality,” said First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams of Cahill Gordon Reindel. “Birth dates are facts. It’s hard to see how the government, consistently with the First Amendment, can bar or punish their disclosure.”
The law goes into effect January 1, 2017.
IMDb did not return FOX411’s request for comment.