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|This page in a nutshell: For an actor, missing out on meeting the GNG is not the final nail in the coffin.|
Notability is not always a contest to see who is more popular in press. While the verification of any assertion in a reliable source is always mandated, per guideline, notability does not always depend the depth of coverage of the topic or the individual, nor that it be immediately available online. WP:ENT and WP:GNG are not mutually exclusive. Meeting one OR the other might be enough to allow consideration of notability. This summary is made per policy WP:V and discussions and AFDs and talkpages and noticeboards for several years.
Actors & the GNG
While meeting the criteria of the General notability guidelines allows a presumption of notability, but it is also seen that Wikipedia:Notability (paragraph 2) specifically instructs that a topic can also be considered notable, even failing the GNG, if it otherwise meets the criteria outlined in one of the more "subject specific guidelines"... such as the "subject-specific" criteria set in the various sub-sections of WP:BIO... as those SNGs allow a reasonable presumption that sources likely exist, even if not online, as long as those assertions are themselves properly verified.
Career vs coverage
An actor might have a career that spans decades and have "significant roles in multiple notable films, television shows, stage performances, or other productions", and merit inclusion through meeting WP:ENT through an allowable and reasonable presumption that sources exist somewhere. If an actor manages to maintain a low profile and so fails WP:GNG by not having wide coverage in popular press that is readily available though an internet search, that "low profile" and failing GNG does not exclude them as long as the career is itself properly verified in reliable sources.
Conversely, an actor with a brief career might receive wide coverage in multiple reliable sources and merit inclusion through meeting the requirements of the General Notability Guideline even though his short career might fail WP:Entertainer. Failing ENT does not exclude them.
It is not mandated that one meet both guidelines. ENT is no more predictive than is the GNG itself, specially as the guideline well acknowledges that not everything that is notable makes headlines, and not everything that is notable is easily searchable online.
Examples in existing guideline
To expand, the guideline at Wikipedia:Notability (people) specifically allows an acceptance of a presumption of notability for verifiable assertions without also demanding the topic must also always meet the GNG.
For example, "subject-specific" criteria at WP:BIO:
- WP:ANYBIO states that winning a notable award or receiving multiple nominations for such awards shows notability... as long as the assertion is properly WP:Verified in reliable sources. It does not also demand meeting GNG.
- WP:ATH has long accepted per consensus that performing at a professional level in a major sport is acceptable in allowing inclusion. It does not also demand meeting GNG.
- WP:PROF states that someone could be "notably influential in the world of ideas without their biographies being the subject of secondary sources."
- WP:ENT allows that notability may be considered if the actor has "had significant roles in multiple notable films, television shows, stage performances, or other productions" but does not mandate that the subject must also always meet the GNG.
Again, while all guideline criteria absolutely require meeting policy WP:V, it is nowhere mandated that the reliable source being used to verify an assertion "must" itself be significant or in-depth... only that the verification itself must be in a reliable source.
If meeting of the GNG is the sole reason being used to assert a notability, then yes... those sources being used for showing notability need to be significant (IE: more than a trivial mention even if not the main topic of the source material) in that they address the subject directly and in some detail. But again, Wikipedia:Notability (paragraph 2) specifically allows that the GNG does not always have to be met.
It is the verifiability of any assertion in a reliable source that is always mandated... and per guideline, notability does not always depend the depth of coverage of the topic or the individual. So with respects, a topic missing out on meeting the GNG is not the final nail in the coffin. Notability is not always a contest to see who is more popular in press.