There is one thing for certain that most everyone seems to agree on: Age discrimination has existed and continues even to this day in Hollywood. How to combat it? That’s about where most of the agreement ends.
SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s biggest actors union, believe the key is making the ages of people working in the industry much harder to find. And it’s why the union was a major support of California Assembly Bill 1687 that would force Internet Movie Database to remove ages of actors and crew people upon request.
In a filing opposing IMDb’s constitutional challenge to the law, the union cited a number of cases where actors and others working on television and film were overlooked, simply because they were too old. Maggie Gyllenhaal once complained she was rejected for a love-interest role with a 55-year-old actor, because at 37, she was deemed to be too old.
A study last year cited by SAG-AFTRA’s attorneys showed that less than 26 percent of female characters in television and film are over the age of 40, while for men, it’s nearly 75 percent.