IMDb to Allow Professionals to Choose Whether Age, Name and Other Personal Info Is Displayed

Policy update comes after collaboration with SAG-AFTRA, GLAAD and other diversity and anti-bias organizations

Col Needham imdb
Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb (Getty Images)

IMDb is making policy updates that will allow actors, directors and other entertainment industry professionals with pages on the site to decide whether personal information is displayed.

Via the standard or free IMDbPro membership plans, entertainment industry professionals can now choose whether to self-submit and/or verify their age/birth year, birth name, alternate names and other demographic fields and decide whether to display this information on the IMDb and/or IMDbPro websites and apps.

In a memo to members, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher praised the move as one to combat ageism in the industry and to allow trans and non-binary actors to have power over how their IMDb pages present themselves. The actors union was one of several industry organizations to collaborate with IMDb on the changes, including GLAAD, ReFrame, and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

“I’m so pleased that IMDb worked closely with us to understand and support the needs of SAG-AFTRA
members and all entertainment industry professionals,” Drescher said. “This means professionals can choose how they want to represent themselves to fans and industry decision-makers. And it will make it easier for casting directors, producers, and others to discover and hire talent from all backgrounds for their project.”

“GLAAD knows that it’s crucial for LGBTQ professionals working in entertainment to authentically
represent themselves, and the product and policy advancements IMDb is announcing today illustrate
their commitment to supporting the entertainment industry’s evolution towards greater inclusion,” said
Nick Adams, vice president of the GLAAD Media Institute. “We are proud to have worked closely with
IMDb on these important updates.”

The policy updates build on ones made in 2019 that allowed professionals to decide whether to display their birth name on their page if it differs from their professional or chosen name, making personalization easier with a new self-service tool that expands the personal info that users have control over.

For members who choose not to display their birth name and/or alternate names with which they were previously credited in productions, the IMDb and IMDbPro title pages for productions they worked on will list their current professional name with “Credited as a different name,” to reflect that this information differs from the on-screen credits. Those who chose not to make their age or year of birth publicly available will have the month and day of their birth displayed.

“The significant updates we are announcing today reflect our continuing commitment to being the most
accurate and comprehensive source of information about movies, TV shows, talent, and entertainment
industry professionals,” said Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb. “As trusted sources for
entertainment fans and industry decision-makers to discover talent from all backgrounds, IMDb and
IMDbPro are uniquely positioned to help support and accelerate progress towards a more diverse,
equitable, and inclusive entertainment industry.”