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IMDb to allow trans people to remove their 'dead name' following criticism

The film and TV website faced criticism after they continued to publish birth names of trans entertainers

2019-08-13

Words: Steve Brown

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has revised its birth name policy following feedback from transgender customers and entertainment industry leaders.

Back in June, a number of national and international LGBTQ groups called for the film and TV database – which is a subsidiary of Amazon – to change their policies after they continued to publish the birth names of transgender performers and others in the entertainment industry.

And now, on Monday (August 12), the publication revealed they have revised their policy, according to Variety.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “IMDb now permits the removal of birth names if the birth name is not broadly publicly known and the person no longer voluntarily uses their birth name.

“To remove a birth name either the person concerned or their professional industry representative simply needs to contact IMDb’s customer support staff to request a birth name removal.

“Once the IMDb team determines that an individual’s birth name should be removed — subject to this updated process — we will review and remove every occurrence of their birth name within their biographical page on IMDb.”

However, if a trans person was involved in a film/TV before undergoing gender confirmation surgery, their 'dead name' will still be listed in the credits section of applicable IMDb name and title pages in parentheses.

“This is in order to continue providing IMDb’s hundreds of millions of customers worldwide with comprehensive information about film and TV credits, thereby preserving the factual historical record by accurately reflecting what is listed on-screen,” the spokesperson continued.