Gabrielle Carteris is pushing for a new law requiring casting websites, such as IMDb, to remove actors’ ages and birthdays from their profiles. The Beverly Hills, 90210 alumna — who played nerdy Andrea Zuckerman — penned a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, August 24, to call for action against the ageism.
“It is time to stop the ageism that permeates Hollywood’s casting process,” Carteris wrote. “This problem exists for all performers, but most distinctly for women. Performers create characters and often employ illusion to do so. That’s acting.”
“My role on Beverly Hills, 90210 could not have happened for me today, plain and simple,” the actress continued. “I would never have been called to audition for the part of 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman if they had known I was 29. Electronic casting sites did not exist in 1990; today, they are prevalent and influential. And they affect casting decisions even when casting personnel don’t recognize their unconscious bias.”
Carteris is the current president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which is working toward stopping IMDb, StudioSystem and more websites from including stars’ birthdays with a new law, California’s AB 1687.
According to the actress, the legislation “would help put a stop to the rampant misuse of personal information and ensure legal, fair hiring practices when employers use online casting and data services.” She adds that AB 1687 would also “require websites to take down birthdays when requested by a performer who subscribes to their site.”
Carteris adds that AB 1687 has already passed through both houses in the California legislature. Now, it just needs Governor Jerry Brown’s approval.
“I was allowed the opportunity to create a signature character on an iconic television show. That changed the trajectory of my life and career, and I am forever grateful,” she wrote. “Enacting this law in California will benefit performers around the country and media consumers who want to see movie and television roles played by the very best people for the job.”
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