I met Nancy Wang Yuen at a Moms-In-Film LA event a few years ago. She is a funny, thoughtful, and charming speaker. And has a passion for research. I picked up her book based on her personality and stayed for the education because I love this industry and I need to learn more about systemic
I met Nancy Wang Yuen at a Moms-In-Film LA event a few years ago. She is a funny, thoughtful, and charming speaker. And has a passion for research. I picked up her book based on her personality and stayed for the education because I love this industry and I need to learn more about systemic issues in representation in order to get on board properly with “Team Equity” for the betterment of our entertainment culture.
“When the 2016 Oscar acting nominations all went to whites for the second consecutive year, #OscarsSoWhite became a trending topic. Yet these enduring racial biases afflict not only the Academy Awards, but also Hollywood as a whole. Why do actors of color, despite exhibiting talent and bankability, continue to lag behind white actors in presence and prominence?
Reel Inequality examines the structural barriers minority actors face in Hollywood, while shedding light on how they survive in a racist industry. The book charts how white male gatekeepers dominate Hollywood, breeding a culture of ethnocentric storytelling and casting. Nancy Wang Yuen interviewed nearly a hundred working actors and drew on published interviews with celebrities, such as Viola Davis, Chris Rock, Gina Rodriguez, Oscar Isaac, Lucy Liu, and Ken Jeong, to explore how racial stereotypes categorize and constrain actors. Their stories reveal the day-to-day racism actors of color experience in talent agents’ offices, at auditions, and on sets. Yuen also exposes sexist hiring and programming practices, highlighting the structural inequalities that actors of color, particularly women, continue to face in Hollywood.
This book not only conveys the harsh realities of racial inequality in Hollywood, but also provides vital insights from actors who have succeeded on their own terms, whether by sidestepping the system or subverting it from within. Considering how their struggles impact real-world attitudes about race and diversity, Reel Inequality follows actors of color as they suffer, strive, and thrive in Hollywood.” –Goodreads Descrip
Welcoming, fascinating, and easy to digest stats that reframe your experience with media. I found it quotable right away and shared with colleagues in the moment. I cannot stop sharing Yuen’s work with every new company or group I encounter. This is required reading!
“Reel Inequality looks at Hollywood racism and the treatment given to actors of colour. I always knew that Hollywood was discriminatory, but Nancy Wang Yuen is able to give stats and numbers to show just how racist and prejudiced Hollywood actually is. Did you know that you’re more likely to see an alien than an Asian woman in a movie? Wang Yuen discusses the double bind that actors of colour face when they have to take on stereotypical roles because there are no other roles for them. She also talks about how playing ethnic stereotypes can be traumatizing for actors of colour, and discusses how the gatekeepers and every aspect of the movie world perpetuate whiteness. This book is based on Wang Yuen’s thesis, and contains a lot of research. She interviewed numerous actors of colour, and read a lot of publications….” -Alexis
“I devoured this book. Nancy Yuen manages to express so many of the frustrations I’ve felt over Hollywood and misrepresentation for years. But she does so eloquently and in a crystal clear way.” -David
“This should be required reading in every school. This book opened my eyes and now I’ll never watch a movie or show in the same way again. It’s also helped me educate others. Highly recommend!!!” -Elsa
Nancy Wang Yuen is a sociologist and pop culture geek. Her book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, examines the barriers actors of color face in Hollywood and how they creatively challenge stereotypes. Nancy enjoys reading YA dystopic novels, singing karaoke, and taking her kids to the local library.
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