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Ken Howard's SAG blasts IMDb for age discrimination

October 27, 2011 |  4:52 pm

Former "White Shadow" star Ken Howard has a message for IMDb — stop publishing actors' birthdates.

In a joint news release Thursday, the Screen Actors Guild — which Howard has presided over since 2009 — and the broadcast union AFTRA lambasted the online entertainment database for revealing the ages of actors. SAG says that causes casting directors not to hire actors over a certain age. IMDbPro, a professional subscription site, has become a standard reference for the movie and TV industries. 

"IMDb publishes the actual dates of birth of thousands of actors without their consent, most of them not celebrities but rank-and-file actors whose names are unknown to the general public," the release states. "When their actual ages then become known to casting personnel, the 10+ year age range that many of them can portray suddenly shrinks, and so do their opportunities to work."

SAG may have a point here. Take, for example, Ken Howard. He could easily pass for a man in his mid-50s, which is much, much younger than the 67 years he has actually been alive, according to Wikipedia. 

What do you think?



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Photo: Ken Howard's SAG is going after IMDb for publishing actors' ages. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.