AGEISM IN HOLLYWOOD.

I was appalled to read in the Guardian 28/09/16 Short Cuts, under the title Is this a cure for ageist casting disasters?.
a landmark law, effective from next year, in California only, that permits actors to request the removal of their age from professional entertainment sites such as IMDB”
Chitra Ramaswamy reports very superficially on ageism in Hollywood and mentions a few films chosen at random. She just could have quoted Lilian Gish”1893-1993 and say that not a lot has changed:
You know, when I first went into the movies Lionel Barrymore played my grandfather. Later he played my father and finally he played my husband. If he had lived I’m sure I would have played his mother. That’s the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older.

However, in the Guardian again, Patrick Kennedy actor (born 26 August 1977) explores in a very informed and intelligent way ageism in films. https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2016/sep/30/patrick-kennedy-actor-age-imdb

In an article that will only be seen by people interested in the subject and not  likely to change general attitudes, he concludes: Publishing actors’s age on the internet just provides another impediment to the imagination. Agents find it unhelpful. For actors it’s an unwelcome intrusion – limiting the range we suppose we have, counter to the spirit of self-invention. But the idea that “age doesn’t matter” cuts both ways. The law, which applies only to California, would seem to compound Hollywood’s prejudice rather than remove it. If it doesn’t matter, why hide it? I suspect that most of the time we’d like to fool ourselves as much as anyone else.

From my point of view (aged 82) neither writers point out the discrepancy between the presence of the ageing woman and the ageing man both in real life and representation in the media. Instead of hiding their age old actors, specially famous old women should loudly declare their age to challenge the toxic sexism/ageism that is still prevalent today.

 

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing, Ageism, FILM RECEPTION and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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