Guest Column: Behind SAG-AFTRA’s Long-Awaited Victory in IMDb Birthday Display BattleDecember 22, 2022 – Article
Litigation partner Doug Mirell authored "Behind SAG-AFTRA’s Long-Awaited Victory in IMDb Birthday Display Battle," a guest column published by The Hollywood Reporter. In his column, Mirell addresses SAG-AFTRA's decades-long battle against age discrimination in the entertainment industry. Last week, the union reached an unprecedented agreement with the IMDb and IMDbPro websites that will now grant all entertainment industry professionals full control over a wide range of demographic information about themselves – a long-overdue first step in helping to end unlawful employment bias.
Even before its March 2012 merger with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild expressed consternation over the revelation of actors’ ages without their permission by IMDb, the premier online entertainment industry database that boasts of its commitment “to being the most complete source of film, TV and celebrity information.”
Last week, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher announced that the union had reached an unprecedented agreement with both the subscription-based IMDbPro and the public-facing IMDb sites. Pursuant to that accord, any entertainment professional with an existing IMDb name page can join IMDbPro for free, claim their IMDb page and choose whether their age/birth year or an array of other demographic information will be displayed on their IMDb and/or IMDbPro name pages — all at no cost. Beyond age-related information, both sites will now respect the choices of entertainment industry professionals about publicizing (or refusing to publicize) their gender, gender identity, pronouns, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and disability.