It's one thing if the world knows that Brad Pitt is 52; people know just about everything else that's going on in his life. But for the thousands of lesser-known working actors constantly on the prowl for gigs, age discrimination is a real (if illegal) problem. So on Saturday California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law bill AB 1687, which as of Jan. 1 will require that entertainment database sites that have paying subscribers, such as IMDbPro, remove an actor's age or birthday if the subscriber requests it be done, reports the Hollywood Reporter. "Any companion Internet Web site under the provider’s control" is also required to make the change, per the bill. Problem is, even if it does what it's supposed to, the bill could be unconstitutional, and Gizmodo reports that free-speech advocates are "outraged."
"Supporters of the bill ... cannot have their cake and eat it too," the Internet Association's Michael Beckerman wrote last month in a column for the Hollywood Reporter, noting an inherent catch: "Either censorship is limited to a few websites, making it ineffective, or it must be so comprehensive that it eliminates this information from the public domain entirely posing unacceptable limits to free speech." One actor responds that while the new law "may not be a panacea," it will bring "significant relief" to those who've been denied gigs thanks to their ages being listed on their profiles. "Make no mistake," the anonymous actor adds, "the impact of this law will be huge." (This actress sued IMDb for revealing her age.)