CMCS Press Release – Los Angeles 2017


Los Angeles (Jan. 6, 2017) — The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) will host an exclusive book talk featuring author Nancy Yuen of Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2016) at the Performance Café, University of Southern California on March 18, 2017.

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.

Nancy Yuen will also join Vanessa Diaz and Kevin De Principe in a media workshop discussing strategies to resist racism in Hollywood, to become critics in media, and to engage in sustainable filmmaking.

Nancy Wang Yuen is a scholar of race and ethnicity in film, television, and new media. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English (creative writing) and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. An associate professor of sociology at Biola University, Dr. Yuen enjoys helping her students view media through a critical lens. Nancy Wang Yuen’s book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism (Forthcoming 2016, Rutgers University Press), examines the barriers African American, Asian American and Latina/o actors face in Hollywood and how they creatively challenge stereotypes. See more:

Vanessa Diaz is a journalist, filmmaker, and scholar. Díaz is currently adapting her PhD dissertation into a book manuscript tentatively titled  Manufacturing Celebrity: Race, Gender, and the Cultural Politics of Red Carpet and Paparazzi Work (under contract with Duke University Press).  Grounded in her experience as a reporter for People magazine, Díaz’s chapter in First Comes Love, “’Brad& Angelina: And Now…Brangelina!’: A Sociocultural Analysis of Blended Celebrity Couple Names,” examines the phenomenon of celebrity couple name-combining as a racialized marketing tactic. Díaz is called upon by publications ranging from The Atlantic to the Los Angeles Times to comment upon major events in celebrity culture, such as the divorce of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. See more:

Kevin Del Principe is a writer and director. He earned his MFA in Writing for Screen and Television at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. The son of a snowplow truck driver and a school nurse from Buffalo, New York, he currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University and composition at Pasadena City College. Kevin’s creative work explores complex characters who earnestly strive to catch their angels while their demons chomp at their heels. He currently is an Artistic & Technical Mentor for the ShakeMeUp: International Online Student Shakespeare Film Festival, spearheaded by the Prague Shakespeare Company in the Czech Republic. Kevin recently published an article in Hollywood North Magazine on sustainable filmmaking. He will be speaking about the topic at the media panel of the conference. See more:

This conference is open to the public upon registration.

Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS)­­­ is an international organization that specializes in media and celebrity studies. It facilitates academic and media partnerships to develop commentaries on fame and social change. For information on the conference program, visit /.

For title sponsorship, media interviews, and high resolution images contact CMCS Director Samita Nandy at with your name, title, the media you represent, and your telephone number.

For all press inquiries, please download and review the CMCS Media Kit.