California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that will require commercial websites to remove information about an actor’s age upon request, in an attempt to combat agism in the state’s film industry.
The law, known as AB-1687, states that commercial online entertainment employment service providers will be required to remove "certain information regarding the subscriber’s age on any companion Internet Web site under the provider’s control if requested by the subscriber." In other words, websites such as the Internet Movie Database and StudioSystem would be compelled to remove an actor’s age if requested.
AB-1687 only applies to commercial websites — which it defines as websites that display ads or receive payment from subscribers, and does’t apply to websites where the general public uploads the information to the site, such as Wikipedia, or to news outlets.
The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) had championed the bill, noting in a message to its members that "age discrimination is a major problem in our industry," and that these websites are a major part of the casting process. Variety noted that the bill has been criticized by free speech advocates.