Court had ordered actress to reveal herself if she wanted $1 million ageism suit to continue
The actress who had anonymously sued IMDB.com and its owner, Amazon.com, for posting her age has revealed her name in an amended complaint against the companies.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, identifies the actress as Huong Hoang — though the complaint notes, "Prior to and throughout her acting career, Plaintiff has only and always presented herself to the public by her American stage name, Junie Hoang."
Read the full amended complaint here.
Hoang (pictured) is seeking $1 million from the companies for revealing her age in her profile, which she says happened after she signed up for IMDB's pay service, IMDB Pro. In her original complaint, Hoang claimed that her acting prospects had been damaged by the revelation of her age.
Hoang's IMDB profile lists her date of birth as July 16, 1971, and her place of birth as Saigon, Vietnam. Her recent roles include one-episode appearances on "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," as "Triage Nurse," and "1000 Ways to Die," as "Sharon."
Late last month, the judge in the case gave Hoang two weeks to file an amended complaint with her name included, if she wanted the case to continue.
Citing a rule requiring a complaint to list all parties, U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman granted one of IMDB's motions to dismiss,and stayed another motion, pending Hoang's filing of an amended complaint with her name on it within 14 days.
"[W]hile Plaintiff may face public ridicule and embarrassment if she elects to go forward under her real name, the injury she fears is not severe enough to justify permitting her to proceed anonymously," Pechman noted in her order.
“Shortly after subscribing to IMDbPro, plaintiff noticed that her legal date of birth had been added to her public profile … revealing to the public that the plaintiff is many years older than she looks,” Hoang's original complaint, filed in Oct. 2011, reads.
The suit goes on to claim, "In the entertainment industry, youth is king,” the suit continues. “If one is perceived to be ‘over-the-hill,’ i.e. approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work.”
In their subsequent motion to dismiss, IMDB and Amazon called Hoang "selfish" and accused her of attempting to perpetrate a fraud by trying to conceal her true age.
"Truth and justice are philosophical pillars of this court," the motion reads. "The perpetuation of fraud, even for an actor's career, is inconsistent with these principles. Plaintiff's attempt to manipulate the federal court system so she can censor IMDb.com's display of her birth date and pretend to the world that she is not 40 years old is selfish, contrary to the public interest and a frivolous abuse of this court's resources."
The Screen Actors Guild sided with Hoang's decision to reveal her name Friday, applauding her "great courage" in a statement.
"Ms. Hoang has shown great courage in stepping forward and pursuing her claims despite efforts to deter her by demanding she be publicly identified," the statement reads. "Thousands of actors have had their careers harmed by the unauthorized publication of their birthdates by IMDb against their wishes. Screen Actors Guild and its members stand in support of efforts to curtail this invasion of privacy done to enhance a corporate balance sheet.
In addition to her work on "1000 Ways to Die." "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" and other esteemed gigs, Hoang has picked up the occasional job doing commercials. Here she is touting the "brain supplement" Excelerol.