The state is about to take on Hollywood’s obsession with youth.

The California Commission on Aging has formed a coalition with SAG, AFTRA and Women in Film to battle lack of representation of people over 40 in film and TV. The new org — the Industry Coalition for Age Equity in the News Media — will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Los Angeles Film School in Hollywood.

Recently released Screen Actors Guild stats showed only 35% of all SAG roles in features and TV in 2001 went to performers older than 40. The 2000 U.S. Census showed the country’s median age was 35.3 years.

State Sen. John Vasconcellos, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care, will host the event. He has authored Senate Bill 953, which is designed to lay the groundwork for dealing with the doubling of the state’s residents over 65 to 6.5 million by 2020.

Changing attitudes

The bill’s provisions include a mandate that the state join the coalition “to work with the entertainment industry to change cultural attitudes and perceptions of aging and older adults, with the goal of making the workforce more receptive to older workers.”

Also scheduled to appear are thesps Alice Backes, Marvin Kaplan, Peter Mark Richman, former SAG prexy Ed Asner, SAG treasurer Kent McCord and reps of the American Assn. of Retired Persons.