Thanks to California governor Jerry Brown, we may never know how old Charo really is. Oh, that’s a bad example. How about Ashton Kutcher?
Brown has signed a new law today–ABV1687– that means online sites that routinely give birth dates of actors will have to expunge them. Looking up someone’s age on the Internet Movie Data Base will now be verboten. I guess same thing for Wikipedia.
The actors’ union is thrilled about this. Their statement: “SAG-AFTRA has been working hard for years to stop the career damage caused by the publication of performers’ dates of birth on online subscription websites used for casting like IMDb and StudioSystem. Currently, many websites used for casting proactively present birthdates and ages to casting decision makers who often can’t avoid seeing this information even if they try. This law will help improve the working lives of all SAG-AFTRA members and aspiring performers.”
So now Betty White could possibly be cast as Justin Bieber’s love interest in his next video. And Dakota Fanning can play a grandma. This is thrilling.
Ageism is a big problem in Hollywood but I’m not sure this addresses it. It’s more that roles aren’t being written for women between 40 and 70, so ingenues have to wait a lifetime literally to play grandmothers. (They should take the cue from soap operas, where ten years or less usually separates children from their parents. LOL.)
Believe me, if you want to find out how old someone is, it takes three minutes. Banning it from show business sites won’t help.
This past season on “Veep” Martin Mull’s character reminisces with the president’s secretary, Sue, about the 80s. Others in the office are confused since they thought Sue was around 35. It was one of the funniest moments on the show.
AB 1687 will help combat age discrimination by preventing the publication of a performer’s age by “a business that owns, licenses, or maintains personal information about a California resident,” the law states. Good luck with that. There’s always that high school yearbook.
By the way, Jerry Brown is 78!