September 26, 2016  

Actress Junie Hoang Loses Age-Reveal Lawsuit Against IMDb

April 12, 2013 (3:17 am) GMT
The court's verdict favors IMDb, saying that the company does not breach its contract with Hoang.

Actress Huong Hoang, or Junie Hoang, who filed a lawsuit against Internet Movie Database (IMDb) in 2011 lost her case in Seattle court. The court's verdict which favors the company was out on Thursday, April 11. The court decided that IMDb did not breach its contract with the actress for revealing her true age.

The actress told Associated Press after the verdict, "My hope was that it would make a change in the database. I knew it was a problem not just for me but for anyone else who had their age on their profile."

Hoang, who initially submitted fake birth year when she signed up on IMDb Pro site, sued IMDb for breaching their contract by violating its privacy policy. The little-known actress accused the company for obtaining information from her credit card which she used for signing up on the site.

The Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists made a joint statement to support Hoang and urge IMDb "to step up and take responsibility for the harm it has caused." The statement read, "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. 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."

However, IMDb was backed up with the First Amendment right to publish accurate information. In addition, IMDb claimed that Huong could not prove that she lost any money or offers because of the site. Even if she did lost offers, there were no evidence that she lost them because of IMDb. The company also claimed that it did not violate its privacy policy.

IMDb said in a motion during the trial, "Hoang now seeks to hold IMDb liable for publishing the truth.Yet none of these events would have occurred if Hoang had not first provided IMDb with a false birth date, and then insisted that IMDb investigate its own files for proof of her birth date."

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