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Reel Inequality


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About the Author

Nancy Wang Yuen is an associate professor of sociology at Biola University in La Mirada, California, USA.


Dr. Phil: Nancy Wang Yuen, author of Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism (Rutgers University Press, $99.95, 9780813586304).-- "Shelf Awareness"

"Reel Inequality provides a vital critique of the entertainment industry's discrimination in the context of its far-reaching influence.... Yuen provides clear ways that the industry can move forward, if enough of its stakeholders choose to take action."

-- "Journal of Cinema and Media Studies"
"Reel Inequality serves as a welcome addition to theliterature at a time when Hollywood' s discriminatory industry practices remaindepressingly au courant and unresolved."-- "Sociological Inquiry"
"If there is one thing Yuen unequivocally does, it is showing that Hollywood has to work hard to Do the Right Thing."-- "Cultural Sociology"
"Marvel's diverse new superheroes target broader box office success"
https: //www.marketplace.org/2019/07/22/marvels-diverse-new-superheroes-target-broader-audience/-- "Marketplace"
"Simu Liu cast as Marvel's first Chinese superhero, Shang-Chi," interview with Nancy Yuen
https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmLb30nWGcU-- "CBC News: The National"
"The Cultural Truth at the Heart of the Lies in 'The Farewell'" by Brian X. Chen
https: //www.nytimes.com/2019/07/24/movies/the-farewell-family-lies.html-- "New York Times"

Nancy Wang Yuen points out in Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, that actors of color generally have fewer acting opportunities, all as a result of the homogeneity of the directors' chairs and writers' rooms of Hollywood. Her study found that 77 percent of casting calls specify a white actor. Her book is filled with other firsthand accounts from anonymous Hollywood sources that seem to reinforce the sad truth that a mostly white industry is going to advance the interest of mostly white actors. In one interview, a Latina actor told Yuen that a casting director friend asked for her opinion on a Latino casting decision, since the director only knew "maids and gardeners" who were Latino.

--Kenneth Lowe "Paste Magazine"

Social media is not happy about a quote regarding Asian-American actors not being expressive enough. At the heart of the controversy is a story told by Nancy Wang Yuen, sociologist and author of the book "Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism." In the book, published last year, Yuen quoted an unnamed casting director who provided an explanation behind the challenges of casting Asian actors. "Asians are a challenge to cast because most casting directors feel as though they're not very expressive," the casting director said... The quote stirred a backlash on Twitter, with some taking the opportunity to show just how expressive Asian-Americans can be... The discussion comes at a time of increased criticism of Hollywood for "whitewashing" or casting white actors in roles where the characters are another race.

--Lisa Respers France "CNN"
"Reel Inequality highlights the institutionalized racism and implicit bias actors from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds experience while trying to work professionally in Hollywood. Yuen offers empowering recommendations for effecting change within and outside of the industry."--Monica White Ndounou "author of Shaping the Future of African American Film"
"Full of diligent research, intimate interviews, and astute observations all presented in accessible language, Reel Inequality provides profoundly practical recommendations on how audiences and industry pros alike can create a more authentic media landscape."--Adam Moore "leading diversity expert, National Director of EEO & Diversity for SAG-AFTRA"
"With laser-like accuracy, Reel Inequality dissects Hollywood's colorblind racism and reveals why the struggle for increased diversity in TV and film has been such a long and frustrating one."--Darnell Hunt "author of Black Los Angeles"

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