Undeserved credits can't be removed.

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I am the Exec Prod of the HBO special Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill that starred Audra McDonald. She just received an Emmy nomination for her performance in this one woman show this week. Some months ago I noticed that two of the extras we had in the audience seemed to have given themselves unscripted and uncredited roles and added themselves at "cast members: of this one-woman show. This is inappropriate and unfair and I have twice tried to remove their names from the IMDB listing. IMDB neither removes their names or responds to me so I am writing this here. I think that those two cheaters should have their names removed or, if not, then IMDB should institute a policy that everyone in the audience of a performance taped for television should be entitled to a credit. In this case, since there were 54 people in each of the 3 shows we taped, we could have 150 cast credits for this one-person show. Don't know what to do next.
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My Whataboat

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Posted 3 years ago

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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi My Whataboat -

Please note that we do accept uncredited cast roles when they meet the criteria here

If there are cast members adding their roles, despite not meeting the above criteria, the credits should be removed.  In order for our staff to take a look, can you post the recent submission reference numbers here associated with your updates?
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Jeff Rowland

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Contribution #160513-023832-194000 is the reference number date May 12, 2016.  This is a one-woman show (with three piece band on stage) for which Audra won her 6th Tony and recently garnered a Emmy nomination.  The roles these two are claiming are for sitting in the audience along with 50-60 other people for each of the three performances we shot.  They are non-credited extras sitting in the audience for the performance.  Do all of the people in the audience receive credits should a camera happen to fall on them? David Michael Cefalu calls himself "Audience Patron". His IMDB entries are all for "uncredited roles".  He shouldn't be entitled to a credit in a one person show where he was simply sitting in the audience. Katie Lynn Cotaya credits herself as "Waitress" and has NO OTHER CREDITS on IMDB.  There was no role of waitress in the show and she too was not given a credit as an extra.  Again, THIS IS A ONE PERSON show. Is it your policy to make one-person shows unlimited person shows based on how big the audience is that watches the performance and whether or not a camera randomly pans the audience and they are in the shot.  I do not know if that even happened since I don't know what either of these people look like.  Did it?  The situation here is that allowing people to give themselves undeserved credits diminishes Audra's credit as the one person in the one person performance and if all who sit in the audience are entitled to credits than it is not fair to all of the rest of the 50-60 odd people who were there during the taping and didn't claim a credit (which speaks volumes to me about the appropriateness of these two claims). I again request that these two be removed.
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi Jeff -

Thanks for posting the additional information.  Rest assured that I have forwarded the details to our editors who will take a look as soon as they can.  Once I get a status from them I will let you know here.
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Will, Official Rep

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for reporting this, however please see the point in our guidelines below.

"For cast/acting appearances, you must be identifiable and featured on-screen in the final released cut of the title. In other words, it's not enough to have worked on a production: your scenes must be included in the final cut and it must be possible to easily identify your appearance (i.e. background work as a crowd member or a similar role where it is impossible to recognize the subject are not eligible)."

This review suggests that McDonald does spend a time interacting with the audience therefore it is quite likely that certain audience members received screen time longer than a panning shot. http://time.com/4255041/audra-mcdonald-lady-day/

I've added the (uncredited attribute) to the credits but without having seen the production it is difficult for us to establish how identifiable these audience members were when watching the show. Can you see their faces in the aired production?

Regards,
Will
(Edited)
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Jeff Rowland

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Ms. McDonald walks through the audience and is talking to them as a whole.  That is the premise of the show. This was written as a play of it was intended to have performance take place in front of an audience.  My point is that an audience in NOT a cast. As I said, I don't know what these two look like and can't say for certain whether the camera passes over them or not, but can they say that it does and, more to the point, show us a screen shot or other evidence that they can be seen sufficiently to be identified in normal viewing (i.e., not frame by frame or digitally enhanced views, etc., since the public doesn't see things that way)?  The burden should be on these two people, not me because I am not asked for undeserved credit.
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Jeff Rowland

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I wouldn't be so hard on this except for the fact that this is a one-woman, tour-de-force, now Emmy nominated performance and by erroneously adding their names they diminish Audra and make seem more like an ensemble piece.  It most assuredly is not.
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Will, Official Rep

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Thanks Jeff I appreciate your point of view. I've marked both of the credits as (uncredited) now and made some further changes to the page to ensure that Audra is highlighted. Both character names suggest their involvement is minor therefore Audra's involvement is not diminished by their listing on the title.

Thanks for reporting and have a nice day.

Regards,
Will
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ljdoncel, Champion

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Hi, Will:

Here are the complete on-screen credits of the show:


Regarding the cast list, please specially note that the pretty little dog (Roxie) has her own credit (#5) and that Audra McDonald's character is named 'Lady Day', not 'Billie Holliday' as the page currently lists. Also, David Michael Cefalu is of course (uncredited), but he's clearly featured on screen (see below), so his entry is eligible.



I've submitted updates 160728-235517-722000 and 160728-235532-165000 to complete all the information:


Cheers! Agradable
(Edited)
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Will, Official Rep

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Thanks ljdoncel for the diligent research and for submitting the updates, much obliged.

Regards,
Will