California passes law that requires IMDB to remove actors’ ages on request

The move is in an attempt to prevent age discrimination

The state of California has passed a law that requires entertainment sites to remove, or not post at all, an actor’s age or birthday if they request them to.

Starting on January 1, 2017, sites that allow paid subscribers to post information for potential employers such as headshots or CVs will have to remove any information relating to age if an entertainer decides they do not want it to be listed.

The legislation, which was signed off by Governor Jerry Brown yesterday (September 24), applies to people working in all entertainment jobs, not just actors.

The move comes as an attempt to prevent age discrimination. “Even though it is against both federal and state law, age discrimination persists in the entertainment industry,” said Majority Leader Ian Calderon in a statement. “AB 1687 provides the necessary tools to remove age information from online profiles on employment referral websites to help prevent this type of discrimination.”

As The Hollywood Reporter reports, those in the technology industry are less happy about the new law, calling it a violation of free speech.

“We are disappointed that AB 1687 was signed into law today,” said Noah Theran, a spokesperson for the Internet Association. “We remain concerned with the bill and the precedent it will set of suppressing factual information on the internet.”

Calderon said the legislation was intended more to help actors who aren’t well-known and not household names already.

“While age information for Hollywood’s biggest stars is readily available from other online sources, this bill is aimed at protecting lesser known actors and actresses competing for smaller roles,” he said. “These actors should not be excluded from auditioning simply based on their age.”