LOS ANGELES—A federal judge blocked a California law that restricts the website, Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a popular Hollywood website from posting actor’s ages due to first amendment concerns.
Assemblyman Ian Calderon issued the law that went into effect in January allowing actors and actresses to force IMDb to take down their ages.
Calderon says the bill was to protect lesser known actors and actresses whose ages are not as readily available as bigger celebrities. Actors and actresses are concerned they would be shut out from roles based on their age.
U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria ruled Wednesday, February 22 that the law prevented IMDb from publishing factual information on its public website and the state had not shown it was necessary to combat age discrimination.
“It is not clear how preventing one more website from publishing age information could meaningfully combat discrimination. And even if restricting publication on this one website could confer some magical anti-discrimination benefit, there are likely more direct, more effective, and less speech restrictive ways of achieving the same end,” said Chhabria.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists supports the law.
“We are disappointed that the court has chosen to temporarily halt the State of California’s legal efforts to fully protect its citizens from employment discrimination. We look forward to the upcoming opportunity to present evidence to the Court of how this law will reduce or eliminate the age discrimination facilitated by IMDb.com,” said SAG-AFTRA General Counsel Duncan-Crabtree-Ireland in a statement.