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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

December 9, 2005

Written by C.N.

Latest Asian American TV Roles Reports

As Reuters reports, the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition has released its annual report on the representation of Asian Americans in primetime television shows on the four major networks. This year, the organization concludes that progress has been mixed with failures:

Progress has been “very mixed” for Asian Americans, said Karen Karasaki, chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition. “There has been some improvement, (but) in many areas the progress has slowed and, in some cases, is going backwards,” she said. . . . To the Asian groups, only ABC has shown consistent improvement, earning it the highest grade of the four networks. ABC was credited with making a long-term investment in pushing for more diversity at the network.

CBS was said to be showing modest results in terms of hiring Asian writers and directors, but it was not enough to get them out of last place. In fact, it was said that CBS has fewer Asians in regular roles than when the diversity initiative began five years ago. Fox was credited with including more Asians in their reality shows as well as using more Asian directors.

NBC’s robust talent diversity initiatives were noted, but its grade was ultimately lowered by the cancellation of several shows that featured Asian actors, the group said. “The cancellations also point out the fragility of diversity initiatives in the face of what it takes to make a show a commercial success,” the Asian media coalition said.

Unfortunately, this report is not terribly surprising. There may be some high-profile Asian American actors and directors (i.e., Ang Lee, John Woo, Justin Lin) out there, but taken as a whole, as the report describes, Asian Americans still lag far behind other racial groups in terms of representation behind and in front of the TV cameras.

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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Latest Asian American TV Roles Reports" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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