90210 actress Gabrielle Carteris wants IMDb, casting sites to remove actors' ages
Former Beverly Hills 90210 star and SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is fighting ageism in the entertainment industry by supporting a bill that would require casting services and databases to remove actors’ birthdays when requested by the actor.
In a guest column penned for The Hollywood Reporter, Carteris, who was 29 years old when she was cast to play 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman on the Fox teen drama, says she wouldn’t have landed the job if casting directors had access to electronic casting and information sites like IMDb. She believes subscription-based sites like IMDb and StudioSystem facilitate age discrimination in the industry by revealing actors’ birthdays because they “affect casting decisions even when casting personnel don’t recognize their unconditional bias.”
“What worries me is that my fellow actors are not being afforded the same opportunities today — actors who are trying to make a living and find their big break,” she writes. “They face blatant age discrimination every day as websites routinely used for casting talent — sites like IMDb and StudioSystem — force birthdates and ages on casting decision-makers without their even realizing it.”
In California, a bill is in the works that would help curb this problem. California’s AB 1687, which would require these sites to remove birthdays at an actor’s requests, would “help put a stop to the rampant misuse of personal data,” she says. The bill passed through both California legislative houses, despite some opposition.
“I don’t know what’s so sacred about celebrity birth dates,” said Republican State Senator Jim Nielsen, according to theLos Angeles Times. “[Lawmaker’s] birth dates are everywhere. These celebrities are public figures just like most of us.”
Carteris ended her column by asking actors to share age discrimination stories with Calif. governor Jerry Brown to convince him to sign the bill into law when it hits his desk.
“Enacting this law in California will benefit performers around the country and media consumers who want to see movie and television roles played by the very best people for the job,” she writes.