California age discrimination is the target of a new bill passed by the state Senate that would allow actors and actresses to keep secrete their ages from certain websites. In particular, the Internet Movie Database, which is frequently used by casting directors in both the television and film industry, has been cited by actresses and actors who have been turned down for roles on the basis of what they suspect is their age.
Sent. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) is supporting the measure, AB 1687, by saying that older actors are often subject to age discrimination when they are seeking their next role. The bill is referred to as the Customer Records: Age Information: Commercial Online Entertainment Employment Service Providers. The bill was first introduced to the Assembly in April before being amended in May and then sent to the Senate, which has amended it twice, most recently Aug. 2, 2016. Now that the latest version has been passed by both the Assembly and the Senate, it now goes to the governor’s office for final approval – or veto.
Hertzberg cited the example of former “90210” actress Gabrielle Carteris, who was 29-years-old when she auditioned for the role of a 17-year-old girl. She landed the part, but the casting director said at the time, he didn’t know her age. If he had, he later said, he would never have given her the role. Hertzberg says this is a perfect example of how the easy accessibility of an actor’s age online can work against someone who is talented and otherwise qualified for the role. Continue reading