Last October, an anonymous actress launched an age discrimination lawsuit against Amazon and its subsidiary, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). For months, Tinsel Town has been abuzz with speculation about who the actress might be. The anonymous woman claimed that Amazon extracted her personal information from a credit card and used it to date her as a “40-year-old woman” on the IMDB service. She claimed that this information subsequently cost her work. In the words of the filing, it led to a “substantial decrease in acting credits, employment opportunities and earnings.”
This Hollywood age discrimination suit struck a chord, even with many who considered the idea of suing Amazon to be excessive. After all, Screen Actors Guild statistics suggest that women over the age of 40 account for just 12% of film and TV roles. Meanwhile, in the general US population, women over 40 make up nearly a quarter of the population.
In December, a Seattle judge dismissed the woman’s lawsuit on the grounds that she could not pursue the complaint anonymously. This led to the big revelation: her name. Drumroll please. It is…
Hadn’t her of heard? You’re not alone. Turns out, the actress has appeared only so far in small budget films and minor TV roles. Her credits include Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver and Hoodrats 2: Hoodrat Warriors. (Huong’s bio suggests that she can play character ages 26 to 33.)
Will the revelation lead to legal justice for the actress? Will all of the publicity surrounding her case lead to her being hired for a larger television or film project? Stranger things have happened.
On a more serious note, age discrimination in Hollywood and beyond is a silent but pernicious problem. Often, victims feel embarrassed, disempowered, and unclear about their rights. So they don’t end up investigating in their legal options. Instead, they suffer poor treatment – even hiring or firing injustices – in silence. If you or someone you care about has been a victim of age discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, or other workplace mistreatment, the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum can help you. Connect with the office today at (212) 688-5640 or www.jhllp.com.