Photo taken from

Nancy Wang Yuen

Associate Professor of Sociology, Biola University

About Nancy

Yuen's research focuses on race/gender in popular culture, Asian American studies, and visual sociology. Her book Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism examines the barriers African American, Asian American and Latina/o actors faces in Hollywood and how they creatively challenge stereotypes. 

Yuen pioneered the first policy report on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in primetime television, in collaboration with Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The Associated Press interviewed her for a feature on the report. She is currently conducting a 10-year follow up study evaluating not only the raw numbers but also the complexity of characters portrayed by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in network/cable television and digital streaming services. 

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Nancy Wang Yuen quoted by Christabel Nsiah-Buadi, "What TV Can Teach the Movie Business about Diversity" Marketplace, February 16, 2018.
"The New Mulan Casting," Nancy Wang Yuen, Interview with Samantha Simmonds, IMPACT, BBC, December 1, 2017.
Interview on Hellboy's casting of Daniel Dae Kim Nancy Wang Yuen, BBC World News, September 17, 2017.
Interview on Whitewashing Nancy Wang Yuen, BBC, August 29, 2017.
"Saving Asia: A How-To Guide for White Actors," Nancy Wang Yuen, Huffington Post, April 6, 2017.
"The Lost Generation: From 'The Joy Luck Club' to 'Crazy Rich Asians'," Nancy Wang Yuen, Huffington Post, February 4, 2017.
"State of the Industry: From #OscarsSoWhite to 'Moonlight'," Nancy Wang Yuen, Cinemathread, December 19, 2016.


"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.