California increasingly appears to be hell bent on serving as the cautionary example of how the belief that government has an unlimited brief to meddle in everything leads to abuse and derangement.
Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed legislation that prevents entertainment websites such as the Internet Movie Database (IMDb),from posting an actor’s age or birthday if the actor doesn’t want anyone to know how old he or she is.
The law, which becomes effective January 1, applies to entertainment database sites that allow paid subscribers to post resumes, headshots or other information for prospective employers. Only a paying subscriber can make a removal or non-publication request. The beneficial end that supposedly justifies this unconstitutional and suppressive means is that age discrimination is allegedly rampant in show business.
“Even though it is against both federal and state law, age discrimination persists in the entertainment industry,” Golden State legislature Majority Leader Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, said in a statement. “AB 1687 provides the necessary tools to remove age information from online profiles on employment referral websites to help prevent this type of discrimination.”
Naturally the actor unions are all for this form of government censorship. “Gov. Jerry Brown today stood with thousands of film and television professionals and concerned Californians who urged him to sign AB 1687, a California law that will help prevent age discrimination in film and television casting and hiring,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. You remember Gabby, don’t you? She was the brainy, non-sexy teen in the original “Beverly Hills 90210.” I’m sure she thinks the reason her career tanked as she edged into middle age was “discrimination.”
I’ve seen you act, Gabrielle. It wasn’t.
Once again, the progressive ideologue solution to problems involves making open communication more difficult. Because aging actresses—the problem, if it is a problem, of casting directors preferring performers with the blush of youth rather than Botox upon their cheeks mostly afflicts women—resent the fact that a profession based on finding attractive performers also gravitates to the young, the power of the state has been recruited to keep information from the public.
This is arrogant, abusive, and wrong, as well as breach of the principles 0f free speech and expression. It is also typical of the growing embrace of censorship and speech suppression by Democrats.
“It is time to stop the ageism that permeates Hollywood’s casting process,” Carteris wrote. “This problem exists for all performers, but most distinctly for women. Performers create characters and often employ illusion to do so. That’s acting.”
Wrong. It’s acting on the stage and on the screen. When one intentionally deceives employers and the public, it’s called lying. Wow, wouldn’t it have been nice if the news media had been prevented by law from letting the voters know how ancient their two Democratic contenders for the presidential nomination really were? Once they get rolling, don’t bet against progressives arguing that law would be for the greater good. Can’t be biased based on information you are not allowed to find out!
“We are disappointed that AB 1687 was signed into law today,” said Internet Association spokesman Noah Theran. “We remain concerned with the bill and the precedent it will set of suppressing factual information on the internet.” Michael Beckerman, the association’s president and CEO, had previously written about the association’s opposition to the law:
“Requiring the removal of factually accurate age information across websites suppresses free speech. This is not a question of preventing salacious rumors; rather it is about the right to present basic facts that live in the public domain. Displaying such information isn’t a form of discrimination, and internet companies should not be punished for how people use public data.”
Well, the man is obviously a hateful, bigoted fascist.
What these and other laws, passed and proposed, around the country show is a declining appreciation, nurtured entirely in progressive ideology, in the vital importance of freedom of expression to democracy. The Left no longer trusts the public with the truth, and increasingly seeks ways to suppress it. This is just another chunk taken out of our freedoms; no, by itself its not a big deal. The culture and our society losing its way and diluting crucial democratic principles is a big deal, however.
It is more than a big deal. It poses an existential threat to the nation.