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August 24, 2016 01:45 PM

Allowing ages on casting websites only encourages age discrimination, especially for women, says former Beverly Hills, 90210 star and current SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris.

In a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter, Carteris, 55, is pushing lawmakers to pass legislation that would remove actors’ ages from casting websites like IMdB and StudioSystem.

“It is time to stop the ageism that permeates Hollywood’s casting process,” she writes. “This problem exists for all performers, but most distinctly for women. Performers create characters and often employ illusion to do so. That’s acting.”

Carteris says that if the casting websites that studios use today existed back in 1990, she never would’ve had the chance to earn her role on Beverly Hills, 90210. Though she was 29 at the time, Carteris was asked to audition and won the role of 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman.

“What worries me is that my fellow actors are not being afforded the same opportunities today – actors who are trying to make a living and find their big break,” she says. “They face blatant age discrimination every day as websites routinely used for casting talent … force birthdates and ages on casting decision-makers without their even realizing it.”

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SAG-AFTRA already has the support of a piece of legislation in the works – California’s AB 1687, which would require websites to take down birthdates of actors who subscribe to the site and request it. Carteris says AB 1687 is already through both houses in the California legislature, and just needs Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.

“I was allowed the opportunity to create a signature character on an iconic television show,” Carteris says. “That changed the trajectory of my life and career, and I am forever grateful. 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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