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Nancy Wang Yuen

Associate Professor of Sociology, Biola University

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About Nancy

Yuen is a sociologist and pop culture expert. She is the author of 'Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism' and co-author of The Prevalence and Portrayal of Asian and Pacific Islanders Across 1,300 Popular Films.' She has appeared on PBS, NPR, MSNBC, CBS News, NBC News, BBC World, and Dr. Phil. She is a guest writer at CNN, NBC, Newsweek, Elle, and Self.

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In the News

Quoted by Christabel Nsiah-Buadi in "What TV Can Teach the Movie Business about Diversity," Marketplace, February 16, 2018.
Interviewed in "The New Mulan Casting," IMPACT, BBC, December 1, 2017.
Interviewed in "Hellboy Casting," BBC World News, September 17, 2017.
Interviewed in "Whitewashing," BBC, August 29, 2017.
Opinion: "Saving Asia: A How-To Guide for White Actors," Nancy Wang Yuen, Huffington Post, April 6, 2017.
Opinion: "The Lost Generation: From 'The Joy Luck Club' to 'Crazy Rich Asians'," Nancy Wang Yuen, Huffington Post, February 4, 2017.


"Tokens on the Small Screen: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on Prime Time and Streaming Television ," (with Christina B. Chin, Meera E. Deo, Faustina M. DuCros, Jenny Jong-Hwa Lee, and Noriko Milman), Biola University, California State University Fullerton, CBS Entertainment Diversity, San José State University Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation , September 1, 2017.

Sheds light on the representation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) on television. Examines broadcast, cable, and digital platform television shows in the 2015-2016 season to measure the number of AAPI series regulars and how they fare in settings, screen time, relationships, stereotypes, and storylines. 

"Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism" (Rutgers University Press, 2016).

Examines the structural barriers minority actors face in Hollywood, while shedding light on how they survive in a racist industry. Charts how white male gatekeepers dominate Hollywood, breeding a culture of ethnocentric storytelling and casting. Interviews nearly a hundred working actors and draws 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.