Is it Age Discrimination or Simply Lack of Talent?

huong_junie_hoang_a_pTexan Huong “Junie” Hoang recently sued IMDb for revealing her true age on their site.  She claimed they breached their contract by using credit information and third party verification services to uncover her real age for its website under the actress’ profile section.  Hoang who is 42 years old, purposely left her age off her profile description because she believes Hollywood casting agents would use her age against her.  According to the Screen Actors Guild, who supported Ms. Hoang’s cause, “An actor’s actual age is irrelevant to casting.  What matters is the age range that an actor can portray.” Hoang and the Screen Actors Guild both believe casting agents now use age to screen out actors from casting calls with the help of IMDb website.

As a result of this age discrimination, Hoang claimed that IMDb cost her several casting calls.  But how accurate is this claim?  If the plaintiff were someone who experienced casting role success prior to joining IMDb, then she could argue that the decline in her success was a direct result of the website.  However, this does not seem to be the case. “Junie” Hoang has experienced very little acting success before and after becoming a member of IMDb.  She has only starred in small production movies such as Ungirlfriendable and A Gang Land Love Story.  Perhaps the real reason for Ms. Hoang’s lack of job roles is due more to her acting ability than her age.

Regardless of opinions, IMDb argued before the courts that they had a right to display factual information on their members and this included Ms. Hoang’s birth date.  Evidently the courts must have agreed with IMDb argument.  The courts ruled in favor of IMDb.  It looks like Ms. Hoang will have to deal with the fact that everyone knows she is 42 years old.

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