lgbtq rights

IMDb Changes Its Policy to Allow for the Removal of Birth Names

Photo: IMDb

On Monday, IMDb announced its decision to update a policy preventing individuals from altering their names within the entertainment-industry database. LGBTQ organizations had previously urged IMDb on behalf of transgender users seeking to update their personal information. The proposed change was in part intended to prevent “deadnaming,” the use of a transgender person’s birth name against their wishes instead of their chosen name. Now it looks like they’ll be able to make that change, provided their birth names aren’t “broadly publicly known.”

As a spokesperson told Variety, “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.”

To answer your follow-up question, yes, even if a user updates their profile with their correct name, their birth name will still be credited as it was onscreen on the pages of their previous movies and television shows. Said IMDb, “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.”

IMDb Changes Policy to Allow for the Removal of Birth Names