A court case in Seattle this week finally resolved the long-standing issue of whether or not it’s ok for IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, to affix a giant, animated #OLD gif to the headshots of actors of a certain age everywhere. More or less. The suit, brought by 42 year old actress Huong “Junie” Hoang, argued that by revealing her real age, which she did not offer voluntarily, the website cost her potential work in the film industry, which, as you have probably heard, has no place for women over the age of 30 something.
When the actor first went to court in 2011 she did so anonymously, hoping to sue for $1m (£650,000) or more in punitive damages and $75,000 or more in compensatory damages. “If one is perceived to be ‘over the hill’, ie approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work as she is thought to have less of an ‘upside’,” read her suit at the time. However, a judge later forced Hoang to reveal her identity and her case was eventually pared back to focus on breach of a user agreement with IMDb. Guardian
IMDb’s lawyers portrayed the site’s mission to uncover the real ages of actors everywhere as a “search for truth,” which sounds completely noble, until you remember that “truth” is showbiz jargon for “wrinkles.”