Nancy Wang Yuen, author of Reel Inequality, addresses sexism and racism in Hollywood

“We’re in a very historical moment where women, and men, are coming forward in mass,” said Yuen.


There is a problem of victim blaming and victim shaming. Women deal with post-traumatic stress from sexual assault. Women of color deal with double harassment. Women of color tend to be less believed than white women. This was reflected with Harvey as well when he refuted Lupita but not the white women who accused him.

The women assaulted by Cosby weren’t as famous and were mostly women of color so they weren’t heard as much.

A lot of women growing up may feel like they’re the only one and have to keep silent.

Racism and sexism have been perpetuated by humor. For example. David Cross defends his racist comments to Charlyne Yi, saying he was joking and playing a character.

Yuen’s studies shows the inequality gaps between men and women. Out of 900, there were 34 female directors between 2007 and 2016. Women have 32% of speaking roles. 12% of 900 films had balanced casts.

There is a lack of female actors from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. 

“You’re just as likely to see an alien woman than an Asian woman,” Yuen said.

Women deal with objectification in movie roles. 25.9% are in sexy attire, 25.6% nudity,  and 10.79% attractive. Objectification starts very young in Hollywood. 13-20 year olds are just as likely as 21-29 year olds to be in sexy attire.

No acting oscar has gone to Asians, Latina/os, or indigenous people in the last 15 years. Best supporting actresses has been 89% white. There’s hasn’t been a woman of color since Halle Berry.

Film is influential in everyday people and you socialize what you think of people groups from what you seen on the screen. So how people of color and women are portrayed shapes how society views them.