Not every actor or actress can have the prestige of a Dustin Hoffman or a Helen Mirren. And when you don't, age can be a huge factor in landing a role, or losing one.
That's the argument Junie Hoang is pushing out there in her lawsuit against the popular Hollywood directory Internet Movie Database, amending her lawsuit against the site's parent, Amazon, to reveal her identity.
Hoang originally filed anonymously, claiming that IMDb revealed her age, 40, without her permission. According to her lawsuit, the site accessed her age using billing information she submitted to become a member of IMDb Pro, a subscription service that provides further details about television and film projects, as well as the cast and crew involved.
"We are very disappointed that the judge required the plaintiff to identify herself by name," Hoang's attorney, John Dozier, told The Hollywood Reporter. "But her willingness to do so should be a strong indication that my client is willing to see this case to its conclusion, however long that road may be."
Just as she did before she revealed her identity, Hoang won the support from the Screen Actors Guild in her efforts against IMDb.
"All of us have a right to privacy, and when working actors who are not famous celebrities have their personal details published online without their permission, a line has been crossed," SAG said in a statement. "Just like everyone has the right to control what information about them is shared on social media, actors and other industry talent should have the same right to control how their personal information is used. This is even more true when the companies using the information are making money by doing so as IMDb does."
Hoang identified herself using a name slightly different from her stage name, Huang Hoang. According to her profile on IMDb Pro, Hoang studied at Texas A&M, earning a bachelor's degree in biomedical science from the College of Veterinary Medicine. She would later train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and is fluent in both Vietnamese and English. She also practices conversational Spanish and "dabbled in French."
Hoang has a long list of projects to her credit, according to her IMDb profile, including most recently the comedy "Dysfunctional Friends," where she plays a character named Star. She also appeared in a number of television shows, mostly unknown, with the most recent being "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" in 2008.
Amazon pushed for Hoang to reveal her identity back in November. The company claimed in its court filings that Hoang was trying to perpetuate a fraud by publishing a false birthday, and was trying to get the courts to help her do it.
Amazon further claims that using the costs to remove ages from its database is "contrary to the public interest," and is a "frivolous abuse of this court's resources."
Hoang has refused requests by other media outlets to be interviewed or to comment on the case, choosing instead to speak through her attorney Dozier. The idea, according to Dozier, is to ensure the public doesn't think Hoang is using the case to boost her profile.
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