Actress Who Wished To Remain Anonymous And Under 40 Is Now Officially Neither

from the it's-tough-to-remain-anonymous-while-blowing-things-out-of-proportion dept

That Anonymous Coward sends in the news that the anonymous actress who sued IMDB for revealing her age is now, officially, no longer anonymous. Late last month, the actress was told that she would have to reveal her name in order to pursue her case against IMDB, and it appears that being anonymous and of an indeterminate age is less appealing than being 40 and Google-able, but with the possibility of a large payout in your future.

Huong Hoang is the actress who sued claiming the Internet search database had violated her right of privacy and opened her up to rampant age discrimination in Hollywood by telling everyone she’s 40 years old. She says in an amended complaint filed today in Washington that she typically goes by her Americanized stage name, Junie Hoang, because her Asian name is difficult to pronounce and has led to discrimination in Hollywood.

Junie Hoang has amended her complaint and is proceeding with her lawsuit, holding IMDB and Amazon responsible for the damage done to her career by revealing her age, allegedly by pulling the information from her credit card. Of course, all the information she wished to keep hidden is now public knowledge, but on the Pyrrhic-esque bright side, this situation may allow her to increase the potential damages claimed. After all, everybody knows now, including the people who only thought they knew and the people who knew it wasn’t Lucy Liu but secretly hoped it was. (That might just be me.)

But you know who knew before anyone else? An unregistered Techdirt reader commenting under the name “Paul.” That Anonymous Coward also pointed out in his submission that Paul (real name unknown) nailed it, with a short, Holmesian blast of logic:

Junie Hoang seems more likely as her resume lists her as 26-33 and her bio lists her year of birth as 1971.

So, pre-SOPA internet kudos to both Paul for his prescience, and TAC for remembering everything that has happened on Techdirt ever. Now, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you Junie Hoang, appearing as herself on Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!. Starting at 8:09, Hoang appears onscreen in a bathing suit and shortly thereafter, has a toilet plunger applied to her. The clip would be totally Safe For Work, if only Penn Jillette didn’t swear like a ponytailed sailor.


Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: amazon

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Actress Who Wished To Remain Anonymous And Under 40 Is Now Officially Neither”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: Strange technique

Well sadly I can tell you that all these “wonderful” drugs being pushed these days are not simple placebos. I have not seen many cases of “sudden death” as a side affect of a sugar pill. I guess if you had serious case of diabetes, but baring that.

I mean really, does anyone listen to the list of side affects for the drugs they advertise these days? The side affects of the drug are much much worse than what your trying to cure.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Strange technique


Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using (quit smoking aid) to help them quit smoking. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking (quit smoking aid), and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping (quit smoking aid). If you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion, stop taking (quit smoking aid) and call your doctor right away. Also tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems before taking (quit smoking aid), as these symptoms may worsen while taking (quit smoking aid).
Some people can have serious skin reactions while taking (quit smoking aid), some of which can become life-threatening. These can include rash, swelling, redness, and peeling of the skin. Some people can have allergic reactions to (quit smoking aid), some of which can be life-threatening and include: swelling of the face, mouth, and throat that can cause trouble breathing. If you have these symptoms or have a rash with peeling skin or blisters in your mouth, stop taking (quit smoking aid) and get medical attention right away.

Ill deal with the runny nose.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Strange technique

Three ppl I spoke with said(quit smoking aid)gave them horrifying nightmares well after they stopped taking it.

I am 37 days cigarette free. Just stop. Only way to do it. That and the big brown eyes of a 3.5 year old little girl helps also.

“rash with peeling skin or blisters in your mouth”
No thanks, I can do it alone.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Strange technique

*puts on nitpicking hat*

Actually, any drug may be considered a placebo if it has cured something that it chemically cannot cure. “Placebo” doesn’t mean “inert”.

Also, even inert placebos have side effect, sometimes severe ones. These effects are called “nocebo” and, in my opinion, are even more interesting than placebo. The power of the belief is a double-edged sword.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Strange technique

Any side effect that has even a small chance of occurring is listed. If you want to avoid modern medicine because of outside chances generally smaller than getting hit by a bus while standing in a field of corn in Iowa, then go ahead. By the way, might want to check the list of possible side effects to things like, oh, caffeine. They’re every bit as bad.

John Doe says:

I think she has torpedoed her own career

This lawsuit and allowing herself to be named is what will torpedo her career, assuming she had one to start with. By calling Hollywood racist and discriminating on age she has put casting agents on notice that she will speak out against them at the slightest hint of wrong doing.

So, if IMDB owes her anything, and I don’t believe they do, they should owe her for any past work she thinks she missed out on as her future work will be sunk by this lawsuit.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Good on Paul

It wasn’t me, but maybe my namesake just has a higher pain threshold than myself? Hell, even I drew the line before watching the sequels to The Gingerdead Man!

To be fair, it probably wasn’t that difficult if you knew of Ms. Hoang and had a bit of time to waste to scour resumes. She’d already been reported as Asian-American, we knew the rough age, and her stage name had already been confirmed as similar to her real name. With the fact that she apparently thought she got jobs due to lies rather than talent or previous work, all you probably had to do was scour recent direct-to-DVD crap till you found someone who fit the bill…

Violated (profile) says:

Sue the Honest

I would say that Junie Hoang looks older than the claimed 26 to 33 range when clearly she is late 30s to early 40s.

This I guess is just an actress in a mid-life acting crisis. Everyone in Hollywood running around saying how they love those young hot 20s girls but when they hit 35 major acting life is over and dustbin time post 40.

She seems to be doing well enough so far but now she would be cast in more Asian motherly roles. Not much you can say to that situation but that is life for you.

It always proves an interesting concept to be sued for being honest. I think the exposure of a liar could be a large part of this. The big question I see was if her privacy was violated by IMDB where revealing only her date of birth seems to be a weak case.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Sue the Honest

“She seems to be doing well enough so far”

That’s debatable, to be honest. Yeah, she has a lot of credits but most of them seem to be shorts and bit parts in extremely low budget movies (most of the credits recently are in movies budgeted at way less than $100k on IMDB). No offence to her, but if you’re an actress at 40, and you have to lie to get the lead in Charles Band productions and characters who often don’t even warrant character names in the script, maybe you’re not a great success?

That doesn’t mean that she has no case if her allegations against IMDB are true, but it doesn’t look like she had the most long-lived career ahead of her even if she hadn’t just torpedoed it by pushing on with the case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Sue the Honest

Hoang’s done quite a bit of animation voice work according to the IMDB.
You need BOTH a distinctive voice and ability to project emotion using ONLY your voice, something many “actors” can’t do.
(Which is why many high-profile actors used in animation for their name-value sound “flat” when compared to their on-screen performances which are dependent on a combination of voice and physical performance.)

Age is no handicap for animation voice work!
June Foray, best known as the voices of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale has been working since the 1940s, and is STILL working at the age of 94 on the new Looney Tunes series on Cartoon Network!
Mel Blanc, who voiced almost all the Warner Brothers characters, plus Barney Rubble on the Flintstones, worked until the year he passed away at the age of 81 (his last work, on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, was recorded about six months before he died).

Maybe that’s where Junie should concentrate her efforts.

Trails (profile) says:

Ground breaking theory

Lucy Liu, who I totally don’t have a not-s-o-secret thing for and have to avoid all her movies for fear of wife aggro, was born in 68, making her 43.

She’s been in 3 movies in 2011, plus 2 voice acting movie gigs and a voice acting show gig, so clearly, she’s not cutoff.

I have a theory, Junie, while probably a nice person, has only been in shit movies and done a mediocre job in them. Perhaps she’s just not a very good actress.

DogBreath says:

Can't wait for the judge to tell her the bad news...

that she is suing the wrong defendants. Huong Hoang will have to sue her parents to get any kind of settlement, since they are obviously the ultimate cause of her alleged misfortune, by producing her in the wrong birth year in the first place.

Her parents should have learned to keep it in their pants, at least for a few more years, so “Junie” could have had a chance for a better acting career. She would then not have to face any possibility of “age discrimination”, because she would never “turn 40”, at least in internet years.

DogBreath says:

Re: Re: Can't wait for the judge to tell her the bad news...

Using that same precedent, she should sue famous actors that died before she became an actor. If only they were born in the proper years, she could have appeared in movies with them and her career might be a bit more to her liking.

How dare they go and get famous and then die in years in which she wasn’t acting. After all, their dying directly infringed upon her becoming famous too.

Violated (profile) says:

Sue the Honest

She would not be taking IMDB to court if she planned her future in “animation”. Indeed this is a woman who wants to win Hollywood over based on her curves and beautiful looks.

I won’t even touch on her value to Hollywood but I can say after my recent chat to one American model working in Italy that the aspect of vanity is not only alive and well but seriously on the rampage.

Beauty is a disease to those who value it the most.

Joe says:

aren't we missing the point here?

If I recall correctly – this complaint is about imdb using their corporate partnerships to fill in the holes in their database. Ms. Hoang’s complaint is about data sharing between companies. She gave information to company A, they shared it with company B. Don’t people have an expectation that their data won’t be shared?

DogBreath says:

Re: aren't we missing the point here?

That is true, but it will more than likely come down to those pesky “Terms Of Service” agreements that most people don’t read, then learn just what they signed up for much too late to do anything about.

Actress Sues IMDb for $1 Million for Revealing Her Age
The woman, who is said to be of Asian descent, says in the complaint filed in federal court in Seattle that she signed up for the pro version of Internet Movie Database in 2008. Soon thereafter, she noticed that the legal date of her birth was listed on her public profile. The plaintiff believes that the site was able to obtain her information because in signing up to iMDb Pro, she was required to give detailed personal and credit card information.


IMDb Explains Why 40-Year-Old Actress Shouldn’t Fear Blacklisting
The $1 million lawsuit against IMDb (and its parent company, will eventually be adjudicated on such issues as the terms of service for signing up to the premium version of the site, privacy, fraud, and perhaps a First Amendment right to publish truthful information.

Joe says:

Re: Re: aren't we missing the point here?

ahh – so it was a case of they used information from a signup form to then publish publicly. That could be an interesting point – what if it was a case of a adult film star known by a stage name but their real name was not publicly known? If imdb published his or her real name/ d.o.b. and that allowed a stalker to locate/ injure them, would imdb be liable? Or if they more simply lost the actor in question lost their ‘real world’ job. Are those consequences something that can be contractually signed away?

DogBreath says:

Re: Re: Re: aren't we missing the point here?

I would think if you personally provided them your information, and their TOS stated that this info, once verified would be added to their publicly available database for all to view, I don’t see how they could be held liable. This lawsuit will most likely be judged on that TOS.

Amazon: Actress lawsuit over age revelation bogus
Her failure to identify herself in the complaint without first seeking the court’s permission violated court rules, they said, and although they believe they know who she is, they’re not entirely sure. Furthermore, they argued, when customers subscribe to IMDb Pro, they agree to a privacy policy which makes clear that the database can keep and use certain personal information.

“Even if used plaintiff’s name, address or zip code from her credit card subscription to locate her birthdate, such use is consistent with the subscriber agreement and privacy policy,” they wrote.

She argued that she never consented to having the personal information she provided used for anything but the commercial transaction. IMDb refused to remove the reference to the woman’s age from her profile when asked, the lawsuit said.

IMDb agreed that it had refused to remove her birthdate and noted in asking the judge to dismiss the case that the actress had also requested that the company falsify her age on the website.

On the matter of:
what if it was a case of a adult film star known by a stage name but their real name was not publicly known? If imdb published his or her real name/ d.o.b. and that allowed a stalker to locate/ injure them, would imdb be liable?

Unless they had some kind of court order against a stalker or were under the Witness Protection Program, I’m not sure if there is any law protecting against release or a re-release of such info once it has been made public.

This actor has been trying (and finally got) IMDb to put his correct age on their profile of him:
An Actor Pens An Open Letter To IMDB; Says He’s 4 1/2 Years Younger Than They Claim

Dear IMDb: Actors have a tendency toward narcissism, so I try not to Google myself too often. Of course, occasionally I need reassurance that there is, in fact, a body of work attached to my name.

But reassurance is not what I get when I click on my name at IMDb, the industry’s bible for factual information about movies, television shows and the people who make them. Yes, my credits are listed (more or less correctly) on the site. But IMDb informs me that Robert Lesser is a 73-year-old gentleman who was born in Los Angeles on May 28, 1938.

I understand your policy is an attempt to stymie impostors who might seek to prolong their time as “leading men.” I admit I would like to linger in that category for as long as possible. I’ve even been putting money aside for a little nip and tuck down the road. But I don’t want to be rushed.

So what will it take for you to make this right? I hear that an actress named Jane Doe (curious stage name) is suing IMDb for $1 million for publishing that she actually is 40 years old. In Hollywood, “youth is king,” explains her lawyer. If that’s true, you can imagine my potential damages!

The truth is, I would rather not disclose my age at all. Actors should only have to discuss their age in terms of range; in my case, I would say my range is between 45 and 70. Perhaps when I actually turn 73, I’ll change it to between 48 and 70. But until then, with daily workouts, dietary supplements, Chinese herbs and hair-follicle stimulation, I intend to hold my place in the middle of middle age.

It is difficult for me ? as it would be for a court of law ? to calculate the impact that your “willful disregard” for my correct age has had on my career. However, if you would consider changing my profile to lop just 10 years off my actual age, I could be persuaded not to sue to recover damages for all those leading-man parts lost and the mountain of earnings and royalties I would have made.

Or if they more simply lost the actor in question lost their ‘real world’ job. Are those consequences something that can be contractually signed away?

As an example, losing ‘real world’ jobs is something that happens to porn stars all the time when their stage name is connected to their real name. If your job has a ‘morals clause’, or your new found fame is causing a disruption at the workplace and costing your employer money, expect to be out of a job soon.


“stage name” porn star lost job

to see plenty of examples. The only one held liable is the actor in question.

Then Google:

“stage name” porn star lost job sue

to see how many file lawsuits over it.

Anyone can sue for anything. This Canadian guy takes the cake:
Male porn star sues government for $100M

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: aren't we missing the point here?

No, the issue is that;

a) She assumes that IMDB did this, and that
b) She assumes that any recent difficulty in her getting new employment has been down to this and this alone.

Beyond her own claims and assumptions, there doesn’t seem to have been any direct evidence of wrongdoing on IMDB’s part, but that will have to come out in a court of law, not the whinings of an ageing bit part actress.

“Don’t people have an expectation that their data won’t be shared?”

Of course. If IMDB did indeed do this, then they should be punished. However, it’s very unlikely that their actions did any more damage to Ms. Hoang’s career than her own.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Maybe she is hoping to spin all of this into a Made for TV movie about the perils of growing older in a world where people only want young people….
Or maybe she is hoping to become the B Movie “IT” girl.

Or this was her retirement plan…

She is willing to sue based on people showing factual information about her, leaving out the tinfoil IMDB did a secret background gathering project on her to destroy her.
Does she think anyone will bother having her in for a casting call? I mean they obviously are ageist or racists for not having included her in their project so they need to be sued and paid up.

Got to give her credit though, thinking this will be her finest hour.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Got to give her credit though, thinking this will be her finest hour.”

Not to harp on a point, but the crowning achievement of her recent career would appear to be recurring appearances in a Charles Band produced (read: very, very cheap) series about a killer gingerbread man, where even Gary Busey bailed after the first entry.

Perhaps it really will be her finest hour.

Anonymous Coward says:

Going after the wrong people.

If she believes that there is age and race discrimination happening in Hollywood, then maybe she should be raising awareness about that, rather than suing IMDB for telling the truth.

She shouldn’t be embarrassed by her age, 1971 was possibly one of the best years in which to be born. She shares that birth year with me.

Stand proud, Junie!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...