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Actress sues IMDB for publishing age

Plaintiff says she’s losing roles over company’s disclosure

An actress, who wishes to remain anonymous, is suing IMDb, an online movie database, because the website published her birthdate.

The actress, described only as a Texas resident of Asian descent, does not use her real name in her profession and says she looks much younger than she really is. To avoid missing out on roles due to her advancing age, she says she doesn’t disclose it.

In her suit, the actress claims that IMDb, which is owned by Amazon, unlawfully obtained her birthdate when she used her credit card (with her real name) in 2008 to subscribe to IMDb Pro, a paid service designed for entertainment industry professionals. She said that IMDb used information gleaned from her credit card account to obtain her birthdate and then published it to her IMDb profile,  “revealing to the public that Plaintiff is many years older than she looks.”

“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,’” the lawsuit says.

Additionally, the actress says she is unable to obtain roles consistent with her age. “Plaintiff has experienced 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.

In her suit, she accuses IMDb of breach of contract, fraud, and violation of privacy and consumer protection laws, and seeks more than $1 million in damages.


Cathleen Flahardy

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