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 IMBb on Junie Hoang’s breach of contract claim (read the full ruling here), 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”.