A federal court has granted IMDb’s request for a preliminary injunction to allow the entertainment website to keep actors’ ages in their online profiles – despite the enactment of a statute in California prohibiting same.
The lawsuit, IMDb.com, Inc. v. Becerra (Case No. 16-cv-06535-VC) was filed in response to the passage of A.B. 1687, which required IMDb.comPro and other commercial online entertainment employment service providers to remove entertainment industry professionals’ birthdates and ages if they requested removal of such information from their profiles. The law, aimed at preventing age discrimination in Hollywood (and described in greater detail in our September 29, 2016 post), went into effect on January 1, 2017.
In granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Vince Chhabria held that IMDb was likely to succeed in the lawsuit, stating, “It’s difficult to imagine how AB 1687 could not violate the First Amendment.” Judge Chhabria further held that the government failed to show how the law was “necessary” to prevent age discrimination and that it was “not clear how preventing one mere website from publishing age information could meaningfully combat discrimination at all.” The State of California will remain enjoined from enforcing A.B. 1687 while IMDb.com v. Becerra is pending. A case management conference is scheduled for March 21, 2017.