Frivolous lawsuits abound, aided by the court system, lawyers, and this time by the unions. And they dilute the serious issues that should be getting our attention. (Hint, like pro se actors vs. Breakdown Services Ltd., SAG/Aftra?)
Nikke Finke broke this news to us on March 19:
Last night a federal judge in Seattle ruled that a lawsuit brought by an actress who accused the online film and TV database for posting her birthdate in her bio without her permission will go to trial. U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman denied summary judgment from IMDb on Junie Hoang’s breach of contract claim, meaning the case will go forward to an April 8 trial date. The core claim makes the central issue of the case whether the site enables age discrimination in the entertainment biz with its policy of posting ages on individuals’ web pages.
In the original lawsuit filed in October 2011, Huang claimed she attempted to increase her exposure on the website in 2008 by subscribing via credit card to IMDb Pro. She changed her name and didn’t reveal her age when providing information for her profile. Soon after joining, her age appeared on the site, revealing info she claims harms her chances of landing film roles. Huang claimed the site performed record searches using her credit card information to obtain her age and did not remove the information when she requested it. Amazon called the suit “frivolous.” But then-separate unions SAG and AFTRA backed Huang’s action saying that when actual ages are posted “they become known to casting personnel, the 10+ year age range that many [actors] can portray suddenly shrinks and so do their opportunities to work”.
As a start, IMDb doesn’t offer webpages for subscribers to fill. It gives information deemed to be reliable, that’s all. And it gives it to everybody, producers, performers and craft professionals, either for free or a for a small fee at the IMDb Pro website.
This actress spoofed her name, and didn’t wish to reveal her age when providing her information. If she’d been selected for a Wikipedia “biography of living people” profile, you can bet they’d have her nailed down with accuracy, including her birth name and age. I have this to say, as if there were no more important things to think about.
Junie, there IS no privacy any more. Get used to it. When all’s said and done, the truth won’t go away, and lies will. Your age, your health, the nature of your sickness, your height, your weight, the natural color of your hair, your sexuality, your use of body enhancements, your clothes, your underwear, your income, your debts, your criminal history, your driving history, your court records, your credit history, your FICO score, your marriages, your lovers, your citizenship, your parents, your ancestors, your acting credits, your car, your home, your children, and why you died. Nobody’s kidding anyone any more. Consider, the more we’re different, the more we’re the same. Set me up or bail me out is today’s cry. Only one thing matters in the end. SPELL MY NAME RIGHT.
Then I decided to have a little fun.
I’ve been an IMDb Pro subscriber for years, where I’m John Clark (II), and have my own credits, contacts, pictures and clips displayed. They’re great people, and perform a useful service. They list just about everything knowable about a person, an agent, a manager, and a production company, with their phone numbers and addresses. Also film and tv reviews, and my favorites are from users, especially under the “hated it” category, (always, to me, more interesting.) You can indeed send in corrections, and they are always verified by them. So I sent this to IMDb:
Some people think I’m 80, over the hill, weigh 300 lbs and can barely see, let alone walk. Actually, I am 45, Greek, of royal birth, and an Olympic athlete with a black belt in Judo. I can speak 14 languages, and make love multiple times without a break if the scene calls for it. I have worked 12 times for Spielberg (I’m his favorite), mostly doing my own stunts. I need work. Here’s my number, in case CAA doesn’t return the call.
IMDb ignored me and hasn’t made this correction! H-e-e-l-p! Should I sue?