The International Movie Database (IMDB), which provides listings on actors and films, is suing the state of California over a law requiring it to remove actors’ ages at their request.
IMDB, owned by Amazon, says the law violates its free speech rights.
Hollywood actors have long reported cases of ageism in the film industry.
In particular, actresses, among them Helen Mirren, have said they are often overlooked or typecast as they get older.
In 2014, Zoe Saldana, 38, who plays the female lead in the film Guardians of the Galaxy, told the Telegraph newspaper: “By the time you are 28, you’re expired, you’re playing mummy roles.”
IMDB says the law, known as AB 1687, was unfairly tailored to apply only to it.
Its legal action says: “IMDB shares the worthy goal of preventing age discrimination, but AB 1687 is an unconstitutional law that does not advance, much less achieve that goal.”
A representative of the California Attorney General’s office said: “While age information on Hollywood’s biggest stars is available from other online sources, this bill is aimed at protecting lesser-known actors competing for smaller roles.”
A Seattle jury ruled in favour of IMDB in 2013, after actress Huong Hoang, who did not want her age listed, sued the company for age discrimination.
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