Hollywood vs. IMDb

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It's no secret that Hollywood types are sensitive about their age. But who knew they'd take it this far? According to The Wrap, The Writers Guild of America West is spearheading an effort to remove the listing of ages from the popular website IMDb. Apparently members of the Screen Actors Guild are also upset requesting that IMDb take down the birth dates of people who aren't quite A-list celebrities like Brad Pitt or Susan Sarandon:


The guilds argue that not just writers and actors, but also below-the-line workers as they crest 40 face fewer job opportunities in a business that tends to prefer 25 year olds. Listing their ages publicly is exacerbating the situation, they say.

But IMDb isn't eager to make the change, according to people knowledgeable about the disagreement.

Part of the issue seems to be a cultural one. IMDb comes from internet culture, which is data-focused and oriented to revealing everything imagineable (though not from a corporate perspective -- just try to find a phone number for Google). Meanwhile, veterans of the entertainment industry are not particularly tech-savvy and often fearful of the reveal-all nature of the web.

Should IMDB bow to Tinseltown?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.