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Old 04-12-2013, 06:36 AM   #1
HarryT
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Amazon cleared in "age discrimination" case

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An actress who sued Amazon.com after her date of birth was posted on its Internet Movie Database has had her claim rejected by a jury in Seattle.

Huong Hoang, who goes by the stage name Junie Hoang, alleged that offers dried up after the database revealed her age.

IMDb argued it had the right to publish accurate data and that Hoang, 41, could not prove she lost out because of it.

According to the website, her credits include the 2011 title Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver.

The site, which was launched in 1990 and purchased by Amazon in 1998, continues to post Ms Hoang's date of birth on her profile page.

In court documents filed anonymously in 2011, Amazon and its movie database subsidiary were accused of breach of contract, fraud, violation of privacy and consumer protection laws.

Parent company Amazon was dismissed as a defendant before the two-day trial, which concluded on Thursday.
...
Full story at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22120587

It strikes me as absolutely ridiculous that anyone could be sued in the first case for publishing accurate information. The fact that this woman wanted to lie about her age is clearly her problem, not Amazon's!
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:11 AM   #2
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Interesting article.

I have more admiration for women who age well just because of the same fact that they have maintained themselves. I find them more graceful and charming. In my opinion, age affecting offers is a subjective thing
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:59 AM   #3
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Just another crazy lawsuit clogging the courts.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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I find it ironic that she accused iMDB of "fraud". Surely, if she has obtained work on the basis of being seven years younger than she really is, she is the one who is guilty of fraud!
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #5
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The thing about this case is that IMDB was working off *publicly-available* information.
It's not as if they hired a PI to go digging into her past and violated her privacy; they just tapped into a public database and fed the results onto their website.
As a more-or-less public figure she had no real expectation of privacy there or elsewhere.
Gotta wonder about the lawyer that handled the case for her, though...
I suspect he got paid upfront.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feher View Post
Interesting article.

I have more admiration for women who age well just because of the same fact that they have maintained themselves. I find them more graceful and charming. In my opinion, age affecting offers is a subjective thing
But this is not the point. If a 40 year old woman looks 30, you can say that she aged well, she took care of herself, etc., but you know that she is 40. As an actress she might be less likely to get a part for a 30 year old woman, because in people's minds she will be a good looking 40 year old woman.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The thing about this case is that IMDB was working off *publicly-available* information.
It's not as if they hired a PI to go digging into her past and violated her privacy; they just tapped into a public database and fed the results onto their website.
As a more-or-less public figure she had no real expectation of privacy there or elsewhere.
Gotta wonder about the lawyer that handled the case for her, though...
I suspect he got paid upfront.
The BBC story links to an older article:
Quote:
The unnamed actress claims the website misused her legal date of birth after she signed up to the IMDbPro service in 2008. She believes revealing her age could lose her acting opportunities.
I wonder what was in the terms of service that she agreed to.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:49 AM   #8
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As a more-or-less public figure she had no real expectation of privacy there or elsewhere.
While I agree that this woman was in the wrong to lie about her age, there are legitimate reasons why people would want to protect their privacy. Avoiding discrimination in the workplace is one of those reasons, and I would imagine that acting is fraught with age discrimination because the entertainment industry is about image.

As for a person's right to know about public figures, shouldn't the public's right to know depend upon what that person does? Shouldn't what they have the right to know also depend upon what that person does? For instance, people have a right to know a fair bit about the life of a politician because they are making public policy decisions. These are decisions where otherwise private information may influence the public good. The same may be said for public figures, including actresses, who use their influence to sway government policy.

Yet that isn't what we're talking about here. Knowledge of her age will not change the course of everyday life, for better or for worse. Yet knowledge of here age may have a detrimental influence upon her ability to earn a livelihood, either because of age discrimination or celebrity gossip.

Like I said, I don't respect her lying about her age. Yet I do respect her right to privacy.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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Like I said, I don't respect her lying about her age. Yet I do respect her right to privacy.
But this wasn't an invasion of privacy, because her age was already information that was in the public domain.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:57 AM   #10
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I am glad the jury decided against her.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The thing about this case is that IMDB was working off *publicly-available* information.
It's not as if they hired a PI to go digging into her past and violated her privacy; they just tapped into a public database and fed the results onto their website.
As a more-or-less public figure she had no real expectation of privacy there or elsewhere.
Gotta wonder about the lawyer that handled the case for her, though...
I suspect he got paid upfront.
I agree that as a public figure she can't claim as much privacy as the average person, but everyone is entitled to some privacy. Not about her age perhaps, but there are some common sense limits even for public figures.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #12
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Just another crazy lawsuit clogging the courts.
So true. I remember reading a few years ago about a young man who was tried and convicted of armed robbery and once in jail, proceeded to sue the State because the pressures of incarceration caused him to have acne.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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But this is not the point. If a 40 year old woman looks 30, you can say that she aged well, she took care of herself, etc., but you know that she is 40. As an actress she might be less likely to get a part for a 30 year old woman, because in people's minds she will be a good looking 40 year old woman.
I would imagine the majority of the public wouldn't know her age when they see her in a film. They may go on IMDB later to lookup what else she's done and think, she's 107, she looks good for her age and that's about it.

If companies are not giving her work because of her age, even if she looks good for the part and has the talent, then it's they who are age discriminating. Of course, that's probably hard to prove which is why she's gone after IMDB, however that doesn't make what she's tried to do right imo.

As for privacy, celebs may give up a degree of privacy for been in the public eye, however I feel newspapers often go too far. When a celeb is followed 24/7 just waiting for them to make a mistake that can become front page news, there's something wrong.

As the Leveson enquiry put quite well, what the public is interested in is not always in the public interest. When it comes to privacy invasions, that should only ever occur when it's in the public interest and gossip/many photo based stories are most certainly not.

Edit: Regarding information already been in the public domain, that's a tricky area imo. For example, people who have committed minor crimes, made mistakes in the past or just reports accusing them of something that was never proven or proven false, shouldn't continually have that information dredged up even though it's now in the public domain.

It's one of the concerns people have about newspapers going digital and in effect never out of print. Anyone can turn up everything about someones past with a search where as before they had to expend time and energy to trawl through archives of papers.

Leveson touched on that too with "the right to be forgotten".

tl;dr Courts made the correct decision imo.

Last edited by JoeD; 04-12-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:03 PM   #14
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Interesting article.

I have more admiration for women who age well just because of the same fact that they have maintained themselves. I find them more graceful and charming. In my opinion, age affecting offers is a subjective thing
Yeah, it's amazing what a good makeup artist can do with a bucket of spackle and a trowel.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:05 PM   #15
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But this is not the point. If a 40 year old woman looks 30, you can say that she aged well, she took care of herself, etc., but you know that she is 40. As an actress she might be less likely to get a part for a 30 year old woman, because in people's minds she will be a good looking 40 year old woman.
The problem is Hollywood's perception that the audience isn't interested in older women characters. They're wrong, and they've begun to realize it in recent years (especially a baby boomers age), but the prejudice is still there.

Hollywood is stoopid.
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