×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SAG-AFTRA’s Gabrielle Carteris Blasts Ruling on Actor-Age Censorship Law

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris has blasted a federal judge’s recent ruling barring California’s legislation requiring that subscription entertainment database sites remove an actor’s age, if requested by the actor.

U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria issued the ruling on Feb. 20, backing IMDb’s 2016 lawsuit attempting to invalidate AB 1687. IMDb — a subsidiary of Amazon — had contended in its suit that the law, which applies only to subscription sites such as IMDb Pro, was unconstitutional.

The defendants in the suit are Secretary of State Xavier Becerra and SAG-AFTRA, which joined the suit as a defendant after campaigning vigorously for the law in 2016. The union has already declared it will appeal Chhabria’s ruling.

“Regrettably, the Court’s ruling failed to recognize the massive impact that age discrimination has on performers (and others) in the industry – something I have personally experienced, just like many of you,” Carteris said in a message sent to members Friday.

“It was particularly ironic that after the Court earlier denied our requests to take discovery and present evidence at a trial, the Court in its ruling complained that there was not enough evidence to prove the benefit of providing an opt-out right for birth dates on IMDb,” Carteris said. “SAG-AFTRA members understand there would be an immediate and significant reduction in age discrimination within the industry as a result of the change we were seeking.”

Popular on Variety

Carteris has insisted that she might not have been cast in “Beverly Hills 90210” as high school valedictorian and newspaper editor Andrea Zuckerman had her actual age been known at the time. She was 29 when she was she was cast to play the 15-year-old Zuckerman. “Beverly Hills 90210” aired from 1990 to 2000.

Here’s her entire message to members:

Dear Member,
 We are continuing our fight to protect SAG-AFTRA members from age discrimination in casting.

Combating discrimination and harassment is at the core of what our union stands for. That’s why we were so disappointed by the recent court ruling invalidating California’s AB 1687, which gave individuals the right to opt-out of having their age information published online without their consent.

Regrettably, the Court’s ruling failed to recognize the massive impact that age discrimination has on performers (and others) in the industry – something I have personally experienced, just like many of you. It was particularly ironic that after the Court earlier denied our requests to take discovery and present evidence at a trial, the Court in its ruling complained that there was not enough evidence to prove the benefit of providing an opt-out right for birth dates on IMDb. SAG-AFTRA members understand there would be an immediate and significant reduction in age discrimination within the industry as a result of the change we were seeking.

In finding the law to be a First Amendment problem, the Court also wrongly ignored the commercial nature of IMDb’s database operation and its subscriber programs, applying standards that are not intended for commercial speech that has a lesser level of protection.

SAG-AFTRA will be appealing this decision with the continued support of our allies. I know it has been a frustrating road, but rest assured, we are in this fight for the long term and will continue to battle on every front until we end the scourge of age discrimination.

Strength in unity,

Gabrielle Carteris
President

More Film

  • MADRID-CONTENT-CITY-RAUL-BERDONÉS

    Secuoya, Planeta Launch Madrid Content City, Site of Netflix’s First European Production Hub

    Spain’s Secuoya Studios has teamed with publishing giant the Planeta Group to expand Madrid Content City, the audiovisual complex that hosts Netflix first European Production Hub. Madrid Content City will multiply by a factor of seven its current operating area of 22,000 square-meters (236,806 square-feet). In total, Madrid Content City will span 140,000 square-meters (1.5 [...]

  • Imogen Poots

    'Black Christmas' Star Imogen Poots on Why Male Horror Fans Should See Slasher Remake

    “Black Christmas” is the second remake of the 1974 slasher classic, which centers on a group of sorority sisters stalked by an unknown murderer. While the original had the female protagonists (SPOILER) offed, in this one, the women fight back. “It’s been called a re-imagining of the original, and I think, in ways that the [...]

  • Imogen Poots as Riley in "Black

    'Black Christmas': Film Review

    “Black Christmas,” a low-budget Canadian horror movie released in 1974, was a slasher thriller with a difference: It was the very first one! Okay, there were more than a few precedents, from “Psycho” (the great-granddaddy of the genre) to “The Last House on the Left” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” to Mario Bava’s “A [...]

  • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss. Creators and

    'Game of Thrones' Creators to Develop H.P. Lovecraft Movie at Warner Bros.

    Following their exit from the “Star Wars” universe, “Game of Thrones” co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have found their replacement pic, signing on to produce an untitled thriller based on the graphic novel “Lovecraft” for Warner Bros. It is unknown if they will also direct the project, but they’ve already set Phil Hay and [...]

  • Little Women Greta Gerwig BTS

    Greta Gerwig and 'Little Women' Crew Mix Modern and Classical

    Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Sony’s “Little Women,” a new look at Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved 19th-century classic. Eager to pay tribute to her artisan colleagues, Gerwig says, “It was a joy for me to work with all these people. It’s a movie that’s impossible to create without world-class artists. They killed themselves for me!” [...]

  • Honey Boy

    Shia LaBeouf's 'Honey Boy' Adds Unusual Twist to Oscar's History With Kids

    Hollywood has made many terrific films about childhood, and many about filmmaking. Amazon’s “Honey Boy,” which opened Nov. 8, combines the two: A movie with a child’s POV of the industry. That unique angle could be a real benefit during awards season, and the film’s backstory — with Shia LaBeouf as the main attraction — will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content