Self

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  • Updated 6 days ago
What's all this?

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J.

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Posted 1 week ago

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bderoes, Champion

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Looks like IMDb is inching toward being gender neutral? I wonder what it'll do for a plural/group name. Probably also just Self.

Thanks for the reference to a now-obscure musical with Mary Martin and Dick Powell, the second of their 3 collaborations. Mine is one of the 116 votes.
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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The word actor was missing on my name page too. IMDb removed it.
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Gustav Wedholm

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@bderoes; Plural/groups already used the neutral/collective term Themselves.

@Ed Jones; Why would your page have the term Actor attached to it? You don't have any actor credits, just two Thanks credits. (And how would this be related to the topic in question regarding Self credits?)
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Gustav Wedholm

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I can't see the connection at all. Were you credited as "Self" on the Thanks-credits, or why do you think it's connected to this change?

Do you think that a Thanks-credits should give a person the Actor/Actress-term attached to their profile? I'm not following your argument here, but if this is your argument this is off topic and you'd be better off starting a new topic on that.

Either way, please refrain from further shouting and name-calling.
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Vande

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Mine just suddenly changed to this today too.

Looks like it is an announcement IMDb forgot to make, probably because of the backlash from all the contributors who do consider themselves male or female.

What a shame.
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J.

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IMDb has made a change that gives us LESS information.
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Gustav Wedholm

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Incorrect, they have just removed a very bad way to store information about gender, i.e. in free-text form.

Just like there is no need to mark what gender a character called "Alex" is, there is no need to gender the word "Self".

There is already a (sadly still binary) data entry for Gender for each person if you feel that is vital important for you in any way.
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J.

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Most people find it useful to know whether someone is male or female. I hope you're not suggesting that's a quirk of mine.
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Gustav Wedholm

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Then the data field Gender is the field for you, I was just saying that it was a bad way to store information that wasn't useful/needed for the data-categorisation "Self" on IMDb.

If you need to have the "Self"-credits gendered on IMDb (for whatever reason, be it a quirk of yours or not), you should ask IMDb to have the data-field Gender better represented, since it seems to be buried or only used in the background at the moment.

Sadly that field is still binary and not useful for other genders than Male and Female, so you'd still not find information about gender identification there, so it's still very lacking if you're looking for specific gender information. (Which is why I think gender isn't needed for this category, just like it isn't for directors, writers, or other crew credits on IMDb.)
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J.

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I agree the Gender field should be better represented. I don't even know how to find whether someone is male or female unless that person has an actor or actress credit.

Maybe the problem was the word "gender" in the first place. There may be infinite genders, but there are two sexes, and most people find it useful to know whether someone is of the male sex or the female sex.
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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Agreed.
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Gustav Wedholm

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I don't know if "most people" do, in this regard -- maybe they do, maybe they don't -- either way I don't want to speak for anyone but myself.

I can't see a scenario where I need to know if a person is either female or male from their IMDb listing of Self-credited work, just like I don't need to know if a director is either male or female from their list of directorial credits.

If I would need that information for some reason (before knowing who the person was, and before watching the movie/TV-show), there are hopefully better ways to find the information than from the "credited as" listing on IMDb.

(I don't find Gender/Sex necessary data to display prominently for Actor credits either, but I understand that many award ceremonies still divide their categories into female and male actors, which might be a reason to keep it for the time being, plus that in early IMDb days, it was a way to split up the database for technical reasons, and it might be difficult to change that architecture now that it's probably no longer needed. But I digress.)

But maybe you use IMDb differently from me, and if you have a viable scenario where you need it, I would recommend adding that information to a request to make the Gender/Sex data-field more prominently displayed.
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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Unreal. Typical academia gobbledigoop!
(Edited)
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J.

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IMDb has a special section right now celebrating Women Directors, one of countless indications that most people care whether a name in the database is male or female. I believe I'm in the majority, probably the vast majority.

There are two advantages to the sexless Self designation, however.

1. We no longer have to know whether someone is a man or a woman when adding a Self credit. There are times when we know a particular name is credited, but can't view the movie to determine whether the person is Himself or Herself.

2. We no longer have to know whether we should arbitrarily list an inanimate object (like Wilson the soccer ball) as Him or Her.

Again, I agree that the Gender (I'd prefer Sex) field be more accessible. If it were, this change wouldn't bother me at all.
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Gustav Wedholm

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@Ed Jones; Sorry that you feel that way, please let me know what portions of the text I can explain better and I can try to help you out. Sadly your comment doesn't add anything to the discussion so I have nothing further to add at this moment.
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Gustav Wedholm

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@J; Yes, I totally agree that women and men have been treated differently historically, inside the business of film-making and outside alike, and that Gender/Sex have a big impact on the business and politics around it as a whole (just like any business).

I'm just saying that I don't need that information in the data-categorisation of Self-credits, where I think we are agreed based on your two following (very well made) examples where this weird "gendering" just made it more difficult to add Self-credits.

I'm however not bothered by this change since it didn't change how I use IMDb. I didn't search for Self-credits for "himselves" or "herselves" only (not sure it was even possible), nor did I look at that data to know if a person I was watching on-screen were female or male.

But, I would totally agree that a (better) data tool to enter and search for Gender/Sex could be helpful if you wanted to find e.g. "women directors in the 1950s" in the IMDb database. But that's not a function that was changed or lost here from what I can see.

If you do find or start a thread where a better tool to display/search for Gender/Sex is advocated, I'll gladly help support it!

(I need to sign off for tonight, but thanks for the open and helpful discussion, and I'll follow up later if you have more to add. Cheers!)
(Edited)
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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I'm being minimalistic so as to not HIJACK this topic LIKE YOU have,
You are opining where none is warranted.
Please discontinue your over-bloviating.
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Gustav Wedholm

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Addition to above: Turns out Gender can be used from the Advanced Search screen, so that's one scenario that's already covered at least.
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J.

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Although we'd probably disagree sharply on social and political issues, I think our only point of disagreement re IMDb is whether we've lost something here. I say we have.

But IMDb could more than compensate for this loss by making it clear whether a name page refers to a male, female, or unknown. (It seems we pretty much agree here, though it looks like you'll probably want to add things like "non-binary" and "genderqueer" to the list of choices.)

It's still not clear how this change will pan out. Take this page for a person named Pat Smith. The name is gender-neutral, and the only credits are as "Self." But we still know Pat is female because of the Known For section, which still lists her as "Herself." Will that change? We'll have to wait and see.

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Gustav Wedholm

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Not been able to fall asleep yet, and since it's apparently 8 AM over here now, I'll try to pull an all-nighter and follow up instead :)

I agree, there are people whom only ever had Self-credits and thus now are in the same "problem" area as many (many more) crew credits, where you cannot tell their sex/gender from their profile pages.

(Where we disagree is why this is important, and where there is a viable scenario where you'd need this information "at the ready", but that is of course besides the point. Your point would be as valid as mine, and as long as either of us doesn't try to counteract the other in some manner we can have it both ways. Win-win!)

One edge scenario I can think of where it might be viable to know a gender is when you're trying to identify if a certain credit is the same person or not, when adding new credits. But if you only have a name and gender/sex to go by, it's probably not enough anyway -- there could just as likely be two different female Pat Smiths as one male and one female -- so it would probably be a moot point.

But still, I'd totally be behind the idea to surface the information through the proper data-field, but I'm more happy that it's been moved away from the wrong field where it didn't belong.

...and I do hope that IMDb has used the previous information about Her/Himself to set the Gender-field in this transition, which is probably unset for many of these profiles. Otherwise we've lost that information in this process, which would be a shame.

...and I think everyone can agree that it's very unclear what change has been made, and why there hasn't been any information about it beforehand (that I can find). But that's usually standard practice for a "big beast" like IMDb ;)
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Gustav Wedholm

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...and the answer to my second to last part would sadly be no, since "Pat Smith" from "The Naked Archaeologist" appears in the search for males and not females at the moment.

https://www.imdb.com/search/name/?name=Pat+Smith&gender=male&roles=tt0487002

Hopefully something IMDb can rectify since the previous data -- however badly placed -- is still data that should be migrated in such a transition. That might be something to put into any request for better display of sex/gender data you want to suggest to IMDb.
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Owen Rees

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All Self credits are either actor or actress credits and are separated from the other cast credits for display by rules based on genre and keyword as well as the character field for the credit. The change in the character field will not remove the implied gender based on actor/actress, it just makes it less immediately visible.

A little exploration shows that the data used by the contribution system is, or was, still using Himself or Herself in the character field for many credits even in the cases where it displays as Self.

There is clearly a conversion being done somewhere between the data used by the contribution system and the data visible on the site as well as there being a new input conversion as shown in the initial message of this thread.

This suggests that there will be an internal update to change all the self credit character fields in the internal systems. That will probably take some time and I expect it will be done at a controlled rate so as not to overload the systems that are processing regular contributions. That may be why there has not been an announcement. Well meaning but misguided contributors have been known to submit corrections to convert the data in similar circumstances but these tend to introduce conflicts rather than helping and the internal processes can be both more efficient and done in a more controlled way.

Smith, Pat (XVIII) is an example where the data at the moment is inconsistent. If you click on the edit page button you find that the single credit is an actor credit despite the character being Herself. The way to fix that is to add a gender as the credit has to be moved from actor to actress and there is a process that moves credits between those sections when a gender addition is approved.

Assuming that there is, or will be, an internal data conversion it could, and ideally should, detect such inconsistencies and send them for review perhaps generating the gender update automatically.
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J.

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Here's something interesting.

Clyde Bruckman has credits in the sections for Writer, Director, Producer, Script and Continuity Department, Miscellaneous Crew, and Thanks.

But he has no on-screen credits, and presumably no one has submitted his gender. And so his edit page currently has a section for both actor AND actress credits. I assume the option for Actress would disappear once (1) someone submitted his gender; or (2) someone added an onscreen credit.

(Edited)
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Owen Rees

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I think you are right. For example, Sterry, Megan and Lema, Sydney both have multiple credits as assistant costume designer on Strictly Come Dancing Megan also has Self credits on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two so does not have the option to add actor credits where Sydney has both actor and actress options.

One thing that will probably remain a problem is that actor is the default option for a cast credit and it is easy to forget to select actress when adding a first credit. I suspect that actor/Herself is a more common inconsistency than actress/Himself.

I believe that there are stronger mechanisms to tie the gender data to actor/actress but there is scope for inconsistency there too.

Note also that Sydney Lema does not have a biography, not even the auto-generated one. The system does not know which pronoun to use as no gender has been added.
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Gustav Wedholm

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Yes, that would presumably be just as before, since the field Gender and Actor/Actress seems to be connected, and that Gender seems to often be unset for non-cast people.

Presumably Gender is set automatically in the background when you submit the first Actor/Actress credit. But could of course be set manually for crew.

Why don't you try and set his Gender and see what happens? :)
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Owen Rees

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Good idea. I submitted a gender addition for Lema, Sydney and it has been accepted so we shall see what happens next.

This may get caught up in the Accepted but not shown!? issue and it is not something that shows up directly anywhere that I know of so all we can do is wait to see if the actress option disappears from the edit page and if a biography shows up.
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J.

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@Owen The default for Actor has always annoyed me and has caused me to make several errors when adding new names. Maybe eliminating the default will be part of this sweeping change, which so far seems trivial at best.
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Owen Rees

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There has been no visible change since my submission. No bio and both actor and actress edits are still available.

As for the default, I think that is there because of the way the web form is constructed for entering cast credits on a title. Whether or not there is some larger change behind this small change is not possible to tell as a contributor.
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Gustav Wedholm

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@Owen; FWIW, from my experience, Gender submissions take a long time before they have effect on Actor/Actress choices. Maybe due to database structure that needs to be read in.

But I could be wrong, I only know that changes I make due to people wrongly appearing as Actor while being female take upwards a month before they start defaulting to Actress in my new submissions (after I set Gender to Female).
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@Owen Rees

Hi, Owen (great to see you around here from time to time):
One thing that will probably remain a problem is that actor is the default option for a cast credit and it is easy to forget to select actress when adding a first credit. I suspect that actor/Herself is a more common inconsistency than actress/Himself.
I thought so too. However, I did a quick search and surprisingly... it's the opposite:

As of 25 Mar 2020:

NAMES WITH SOME SELF CREDIT: 1,502,512 names
     ...who also have some ACTOR credit: 245,331 names (16.3%)
                    38,462 of them also archive footage entries
     ...who also have some ACTRESS credit: 138,848 names (9.2%)
                    20,767 of them also archive footage entries
     ...who also have NEITHER ACTOR NOR ACTRESS credits: 1,118,333 names (74.4%)
                    [Jay might be talking about these people in his post above]

About the inconsistencies, the new policy has already been added to the guidelines...

...but, just for the record:

HIMSELF credits in names with ACTRESS entries: 5,633 credits
HERSELF credits in names with ACTOR entries: 5,288 credits

These inconsistencies are no longer trackable by looking at their  pages... e.g.:


Cheers!
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ljdoncel, Champion

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@Owen Rees

Hi, Owen (great to see you around here from time to time):
One thing that will probably remain a problem is that actor is the default option for a cast credit and it is easy to forget to select actress when adding a first credit. I suspect that actor/Herself is a more common inconsistency than actress/Himself.
I thought so too. However, I did a quick search and surprisingly... it's the opposite:

As of 25 Mar 2020:

NAMES WITH SOME SELF CREDIT: 1,502,512 names
     ...who also have some ACTOR credit: 245,331 names (16.3%)
                    38,462 of them also archive footage entries
     ...who also have some ACTRESS credit: 138,848 names (9.2%)
                    20,767 of them also archive footage entries
     ...who also have NEITHER ACTOR NOR ACTRESS credits: 1,118,333 names (74.4%)
                    [Jay might be talking about these people in his post above]

About the inconsistencies, the new policy has already been added to the guidelines...

...but, just for the record:

HIMSELF credits in names with ACTRESS entries: 5,633 credits
HERSELF credits in names with ACTOR entries: 5,288 credits

These inconsistencies are no longer trackable by looking at their  pages... e.g.:


Cheers!
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Gustav Wedholm

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I love this change, thank you IMDb.

I've never understood why I would need to use two different terms for this when "Self" is sufficient for the data categorisation.

(For all you interested in [binary] Genders, there is a specific data field for this, and has been for a long time.)
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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(For all you interested in [binary] Genders, there is a specific data field for this, and has been for a long time.)
I know them. And it's a sad way to identify themselves.
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Gustav Wedholm

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Sorry, I don't follow what you mean. Do you think the Gender-field is a sad (bad?) way to enter data about Gender/Sex? If so, I would recommend that you contact IMDb with a suggestion for a better technical solution.
(Edited)
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Bulma PunkRocker

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The same is happening to me right now and couldn't find any announcement.

People who want to hide theri sex should be able to do it, but now how are we suppossed to find some crew member amongst 55 people, male and female, with the same name and field? It's only gona increase duplicate pages.
I can't understand how it is so bad to know if a person is a man or a woman, no one is asking about sexual orientation or if the person is trans. This is really strange to me.
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Gustav Wedholm

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Hmm, has it affected crew though? Directors, writers, etc, have never had a Herself/Himself tag anywhere, right..?

From what I can see it has only affected on-screen credits, and those would still have an Actor/Actress tag in the background since you'd still assign either of those to the credit, so it shouldn't really affect the editorial process with them.

As for crew, it's been talked about previous in this thread, and if your only knowledge of a person is their name, but for some reason happen to know their gender (which seems unlikely), the gender wouldn't really help you to know if the person called Pat Smith was the same Pat Smith as already credited for another movie. It could just as likely be another female Pat Smith as another male Pat Smith, so you're just guessing at that point anyway.

I welcome the change as the information was put in the completely wrong field (there is a Gender field already), but I agree that it's weird that it was unannounced and that the information previously entered as Himself/Herself hasn't (yet) been transferred into the Gender field.
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Bulma PunkRocker

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Sometimes crew members have credits as himself/herself, it is rare, but it can be seen in making-of, documentaries and talk shows.
I am glad that the actor/actress information is not being removed, sometimes I audit Korean films and I am not familiar with some performers' filmography, and since most of low key foreign performers doesn't have profile image, it is really helpful, Korean names are often repeated and some are unisex, can be a man or a woman.
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Gustav Wedholm

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Yes, but in those cases they are not credited as (just) crew, but also as cast. (Just like an actor also can be a director.)

So they would be continued to be treated as actor/actress in that case, just credited as "Self" instead of "Himself/Herself" -- so you'd be able to use the actor/actress distinction for credit submissions.
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Bulma PunkRocker

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Gustav Wedholm Thank you very much!

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Appraiser1

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I honestly don't understand what the big deal is. "Self" is fine. I'll have a problem when they give out Oscars to "Best Actor" and "Best Actor Without A Penis". I'm French: pronouns are very important to us as a knife is masculine and a spoon is feminine, and I'd hate to find a spoon that is as gender-confused as I already am! :D Anglophones are very lucky: you have "it" which does not exist in the French. (Still don't understand why they had to go invent the ridiculous "xhir" or whatever, since "it" is already in the dictionary!) *shrugs*
(Edited)
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Bulma PunkRocker

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Appraiser1 I don't know exactly how your comment is related with my problem identifying people who share the exact same name, some are men and some are women.
I speak Spanish and everything is "el" or "la" too. But that is not important here because IMDb is in English language.
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Appraiser1

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There's a lot of comments here on the gender. I was just giving my opinion. I just was cruising IMDb now and saw the word "actress" under a performer's name. It must have been a temporary glitch, just did a standard search:

Tom Cruise (Actor, Top Gun (1986))
And clicking on his name brought this, as usual, at his page:
Tom CruiseActor | Producer | Soundtrack

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ACT_1

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? ?
  
Caitlyn Jenner
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0421063/
Caitlyn Jenner was born on October 28, 1949 in Mount Kisco, New York, USA
as William Bruce Jenner. 
  
She is an actress, known for...
Has changed his name and gender legally, and will receive a new birth certificate. [September 25, 2015].
  
When preparing for the 1976 Olympics, he trained 6 to 8 hours every day for four years
  
Today (TV Series)
- Episode dated 9 September 2015 (2015) ... Self
- Episode dated 13 January 1978 (1978) ... Self (as Bruce Jenner)

Before
Caitlyn Jenner
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0421063/mediaviewer/rm3206802176
 
After

Caitlyn Jenner at an event for The Oscars 2017

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0421063/mediaviewer/rm2677748224
.

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ACT_1

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caitlyn_Jenner
  (Redirected from Bruce jenner)
 
Jenner culminated a 6 year decathlon career
by winning the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal
 
In January 2017, she underwent sex reassignment surgery.
Jenner has been called the most famous transgender woman in the world.
.
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Appraiser1

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Just to be clear, ACT 1, I'm not sure what point you were trying to make?  (Not an attack, just didn't see your comments apart from the copy paste)
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ACT_1

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His Self ? ?
Her Self ? ?

.
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Appraiser1

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I see. Bruce is currently referred to as "she" ("Caitlyn"). There were published speculations in the press that the reality star was going to revert back as he (then) regretted transitioning but that never happened so he is still currently referred to as she and has said s/he is very open if people still referred to as "him". At least a few years ago. I haven't followed this since the transitioning. So for this person, I guess "self" is easier.