Nancy Wang Yuen
Hollywood Actors and Racism
Rutgers University Press 2017
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in FilmNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network March 14, 2017 Dave O'Brien
How can we challenge the way film and television represents the world around us? In Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2017) Nancy Wan Yuen, and Associate Professor of Sociology at Biola University, offers a comprehensive guide to the problem of racism in Hollywood, along with possible solutions for organisations, governments and audiences. The book draws on a wealth of interview data, along with almost 10 years of fieldwork in the Hollywood system, interviewing on- and off-screen talent, agents, and decision makers. The book shows the high levels of exclusion of people of colour from Hollywood, along with the malign impacts of this on contemporary culture. Moreover, the book shows how actors of colour face a ‘double bind’ in trying to get work and negotiate the expectations and biases of a white system. By exposing the problem, and offering practical guidance for change, the book represents an important intervention. The engaging style and clear, academically rigorous, prose should be read by anyone interested in Hollywood, and thus more global, culture. The book also has a twitter feed and website.