Actress who sued Amazon’s IMDb for displaying her age can take the case to trial

Junie Hoang

Junie Hoang

The actress who sued Amazon.com for displaying her age on IMDb can proceed with her case, according to a decision this week by U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman.

Texas actress Junie Hoang originally filed her suit as a “Jane Doe,” in October 2011, claiming that IMDb intercepted personal information during the credit card sign up process and then later used that information to fill out her personal profile, including her age.

Age discrimination is commonplace in the entertainment business, and Hoang claimed that she “suffered a substantial decrease in acting credits, employment opportunities and earnings” because of the disclosure of her age on IMDb.

On Monday, Judge Pechman allowed the case to proceed to trial, though she barred Amazon.com as a defendant, tossed out the claim of emotional distress and denied a claim that IMDb violated the Consumer Protection Act by publishing Hoang’s age without her consent, reports The New York Times.

In a statement provided to Variety, the 41-year-old Hoang wrote:

“I am obviously very gratified by the court’s decision to allow my case to go to trial. What’s at stake here involves far more than just my own career. Anyone who values their privacy and has ever given credit card information to an online company like IMDb or Amazon.com should be concerned about the outcome. We entrust companies like these with ever-growing mountains of data about ourselves and when they violate that trust, they must be held to account.”

The trial is set to begin April 8th in Seattle.

Hoang’s profile page is still available on IMDb, and her birthday remains on the site. She appeared in

hoang-junie


Here’s Pechman’s recent order:

Hoang Imdb

  • fed up

    I hope she loses BIG

  • cupid stunt

    pahaha! she should be sued for claiming to be an “actress”……

  • Harkonnen

    Her lawsuit has ensured that the remaining few acting jobs for her will also disappear. This is silly and she is not doing herself any favors.

  • JetCityOrange

    Judging by her filmography, she needs a better agent, not a lawyer. http://JetCityOrange.com/junie-hoang/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Murch/705204492 Steve Murch

    I am reminded of one of my friend Rich Barton’s Rules of the Web:
    “That which can be known will be known.”

  • http://twitter.com/LawrenceGarvin Lawrence Garvin

    This lawsuit is a crock on so many levels…. having spent several dozen years working in the theatrical industry, the last 20 in Texas.

    I can share a few realities…

    1. If a talented actress can portray a role of whatever age, nobody gives a crap how old she actually is.

    2. There’s no money to be made in Texas in acting. If she was actually *employable* as an actress she’d be living in a market where actors are paid scale wages. Actors don’t make squat in Texas, and the number of actors who actually earn a living in Texas can be counted on a couple of hands. Since there’s no money to be made, it will be hard to prove actual damages in this case.

    3. Whether or not IMDB improperly published her birthdate, the fact is that any dimwit who can spell Google can figure out her real age. From her IMDB bio, which presumably she submitted (aside from her birthdate), for starters, she earned a B.S. at Texas A&M. How long does it take to figure out her graduation year and subtract 22? Also, she’s an immigrant. Immigration records are public records, and proof of age is a requirement for residency.

    4. It’s *common practice* for celebrities birthdates and ages to be known. While there may be some issue with how IMDB ‘obtained’ the information, I’m sure IMDB wasn’t the only available source for that data point.

    5. There’s also a Wikipedia article. Is she also suing Wikipedia?

    6. Her personal site links to her filmography at IMDB (apparently she’s not that angry with IMDB, eh?) which has =136= entries! … dating from =1992= (there’s a clue — she has 21 years of film experience!) all the way to this year, with multiple entries in almost every year. Btw, the lawsuit characterizes her as an “aspiring actress” (over half of the entries in her filmography are dated AFTER the lawsuit was filed!)

    7. She has FIVE films from 2012-2013 currently in post-production. Doesn’t seem to be any real shortage of work there, eh?
    I submit this was just a publicity stunt, and she ought to be censured by the court for filing a frivilous lawsuit.

  • IM

    I hope she wins bigtime. The imdb is a resource that for many industry professionals has encouraged ageism, laziness, etc. The imdb is misguided and misusing credit card information, and is assuming authority over people’s personal data. This lawsuit is about the entertainments industry, but also points to issues that affect everyone. If you don’t think this case has merit, then you get what you tolerate.