SMH October 19, 2011 – 8:18AM
An actress is suing Amazon in federal court in Seattle for more than $US1 million ($978,569) for revealing her age on its Internet Movie Database website and refusing to remove the reference when asked.
The actress is not named in the lawsuit that refers to her as Jane Doe. It says she lives in Texas and is of Asian descent and has an Americanised stage name.
The lawsuit accuses IMDb of misusing her personal information after she signed up for the industry insider IMDbPro service in 2008. Shortly thereafter, she noticed her legal date of birth had been added to her public acting profile. She requested that it be removed and IMDb refused, the lawsuit says, filed last Thursday in the US.
“If one is perceived to be ‘over-the-hill’, i.e., approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work as she is thought to have less of an ‘upside’, therefore, casting directors, producers, directors, agents-manager, etc. do not give her the same opportunities, regardless of her appearance or talent,” the lawsuit states.
While she loses opportunities because of her age, she’s also missing work because of her youthful appearance, the lawsuit says.
“Plaintiff has experienced rejection in the industry for each ’40-year-old’ role for which she has interviewed because she does not and cannot physically portray the role of a 40-year-old woman,” the lawsuit says.
The online retailer and its movie database subsidiary, both based in Seattle, are accused of breach of contract, fraud, and violation of privacy and consumer protection laws.
The lawsuit seeks $US75,000 ($73,392) in compensatory damages and $1 million ($978,569) in punitive damages.
Amazon has a long-standing practice of not commenting on active litigation, spokeswoman Mary Osako said.