SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IMDb (www.imdb.com), the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities, announced today the launch of the most significant in a series of recent product and policy updates designed to empower entertainment professionals to showcase themselves and their careers and be discovered by fans and industry decision-makers on IMDb and IMDbPro. 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. These product and policy updates are part of an ongoing commitment from IMDb to support progress towards more equitable hiring in the entertainment industry, and align with the IMDb mission to be the most accurate and complete source of entertainment information.
The advancements announced today were developed in close collaboration with many leading organizations specializing in anti-bias, bullying prevention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, including ADA Lead On Productions, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), Easterseals Southern California Disability Services, EIN SOF Communications, GLAAD, IllumiNative, Lights! Camera! Access!, Mulberry Tree Group, Muslim Public Affairs Council Hollywood Bureau, NAACP Hollywood Bureau, The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), Outfest, ReFrame, SAG-AFTRA, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Brenda Robinson, and Dr. Katherine Pieper (USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative), and WIF (Women In Film).
IMDbPro, a membership service for entertainment industry professionals, empowers customers with information and features designed to help them achieve success throughout all stages of their career. For more than a decade, IMDbPro members have been able to decide whether or not their age/birth year is displayed on IMDbPro, and the policy updates announced today mark the first time they can choose whether their age/birth year is displayed on the IMDb website and apps for entertainment fans and general consumers. For IMDbPro members who choose not to show their age/birth year, the month and date of their birth will continue to display. On-screen talent can also choose whether to self-submit an age-playing range to display on their IMDbPro name page and in IMDbPro search results to help casting directors, producers, and other industry decision-makers who rely on IMDbPro as part of the talent discovery process.
Since 2019, IMDb has also enabled professionals to decide whether to display their birth name (in instances where it differs from their professional or chosen name) on their IMDb and IMDbPro name pages by contacting customer support. Today’s launch advances this policy with a new, convenient, self-service tool for IMDbPro members to decide whether or not to display their birth name and any alternate names by which they have been credited on IMDbPro and IMDb name and title pages and in search results. 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.
Professionals with an IMDbPro standard or free membership can access these new display options at any time and as often as they like using the “Edit your page” button at the top of their name page on the IMDbPro site or app. Age/birth year and demographic information display options can be accessed in the “Personal Details” section, and birth name and alternate name display options can be accessed in the “Performer Profile” section. A video demonstrating how IMDbPro members can access and use these new features is available here.
“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. We are profoundly grateful to GLAAD, SAG-AFTRA, and other leading organizations for collaborating with us to support their communities and champion more inclusive discovery and hiring throughout the entertainment industry. By working closely with these groups, listening to our customers, and advancing our products and policies to empower entertainment industry professionals to self-identify and verify information about themselves and their careers—with the aim of helping industry decision-makers discover and hire them—we believe we are best supporting all IMDb customers and the entertainment industry overall.”
“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,” said Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA. “It is the dawn of a new, more collaborative relationship with IMDb and SAG-AFTRA members. Now, a performer can claim their page and manage their demographic data on their IMDbPro and IMDb pages for free. 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. Bravo IMDb, for your inclusive and honorable approach. May every company follow your lead.”
“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.”
As part of the active and ongoing consultation IMDbPro established with organizations specializing in anti-bias, bullying prevention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, IMDbPro collaborated with these thought leaders to develop a series of significant product and policy updates to meet the unique needs of their communities and entertainment fans. In May 2022, IMDbPro began launching options for members to opt into self-identifying their demographic information, including gender/gender identity, race/ethnicity, disabilities, and sexual orientation, and choosing which of these fields display in IMDbPro search results and a new “Personal Details” section on their IMDbPro name page. Members can also choose whether this information displays in a new, self-verified section on their IMDb name page. These options are available to all entertainment professionals with a standard or free IMDbPro membership. The new “Personal Details” section is intended to support talent, particularly from underrepresented communities, looking to be discovered and advance their careers. The “Personal Details” section also makes it easier for industry decision-makers to search for, hire, and collaborate more inclusively. Demographic response options will be continually updated based on ongoing collaboration with organizations specializing in anti-bias, bullying prevention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion and input from IMDbPro members. In August 2022, to continue supporting professionals through all stages of their careers, IMDbPro launched its first-ever free membership plan, empowering all entertainment professionals who have an existing IMDb name page with access to newly added self-identification features and a basic search experience, with the option to upgrade to a standard membership for full access to the most powerful features on IMDbPro, including setting their featured image, primary profession, and the titles they are “Known For,” using advanced search, and viewing contact information for companies and professionals.
Additional executive quotes from collaborating organizations specializing in anti-bias, bullying prevention, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, are available below (in alphabetical order by organization name):
“We applaud IMDb for its industry leadership in creating this safe space for established and emerging professionals with disabilities to self-identify, thus normalizing this practice that sets a new industry standard and increases employment opportunities in front of and behind the camera,” said Danny Woodburn and Tari Hartman Squire, partners at ADA Lead On Productions. “It is an honor to collaborate on this groundbreaking initiative.”
“As the caretaker of the CAPE Database—the largest database of Asian Pacific Islander entertainment professionals—CAPE was thrilled to collaborate with IMDb on these synergistic product updates to advance the hiring of our talented communities,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, executive director of CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment).
“We are proud of our collaboration with IMDb on their efforts to make the entertainment industry more inclusive by creating tools to showcase and amplify disabled talent in front of and behind the camera,” said Nic Novicki, founder of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge and board member of Easterseals Southern California Disability Services. “We are optimistic that many of our talented Easterseals Disability Film Challenge participants will utilize these innovative tools to advance their careers and be discovered by casting directors, producers, and executives.”
“By empowering queer professionals to represent themselves authentically, these IMDb product and policy updates represent a major milestone in helping Outfest and other LGBTQ+ arts organizations discover queer professionals to support through our programs,” said Damien S. Navarro, executive director of Outfest. “We are excited about these updates that support our mission and create new opportunities for queer representation in entertainment.”
“These IMDb product and policy updates allow entertainment professionals greater freedom and flexibility to self-identify in ways that can further efforts toward inclusion across the industry,” said Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. “By making the options available to IMDbPro standard and free members, IMDb has made it possible to foster, track, and improve inclusion more effectively.”
“Allowing people to define our own identities is incredibly important, and it makes IMDb an even more valuable tool in the march toward equitable gender representation in the screen industries,” said Kirsten Schaffer, CEO of WIF (Women In Film).
IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. This membership service empowers professionals with information and features designed to help them achieve success throughout all stages of their career. An IMDbPro standard membership includes the following: detailed contact and representation information; tools for members to manage and showcase their IMDb profile, including selecting their primary images and the credits they are best “known for”; exclusive STARmeter rankings determined by page views on IMDb; the IMDbPro app for iPhone, iPad, and Android; IMDbPro Track, which empowers members to receive personalized entertainment industry news and notifications on the people and film and TV projects they want to follow; and a convenient feature that generates custom digital assets to promote their work on social media and other platforms. The IMDbPro free membership includes features for professionals to self-identify and manage the display of certain information about themselves and their careers on IMDb and IMDbPro and limited access to industry news, research, and cast and crew notices. IMDbPro is a division of IMDb, the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities. Industry professionals can join IMDbPro today at www.imdbpro.com. Follow IMDbPro on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
IMDb is the world's most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities. Products and services to help fans decide what to watch and where to watch it include: the IMDb website for desktop and mobile devices; apps for iOS and Android; and X-Ray on Prime Video. IMDb also produces IMDb original video series and podcasts. For entertainment industry professionals, IMDb provides IMDbPro and Box Office Mojo. IMDb licenses information from its vast and authoritative database to third-party businesses worldwide; learn more at developer.imdb.com. IMDb is an Amazon company. For more information, visit imdb.com/press and follow @IMDb.