Asians on TV: Do Networks Make the Grade?

Asians on TV: Do Networks Make the Grade?

Asian Pacific American Media Coalition releases latest diversity "Report Card"; Fox gets an Incomplete.

Over the last few years, we've seen some decent strides in the number of roles for Asian Americans on television. But how do the numbers actually stack up? The Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) just released its most recent "Report Card" grading the four major television networks on their progress toward diversity and inclusion of Asian Americans for the 2016-17 season.

At the top of the class: ABC. On the strength of its 21 regular and 23 recurring Asian American actors in prime time television — including an unprecedented three series featuring Asian American actors in lead roles last season — the network scored an A-, the highest grade the Coalition has ever given in that category. ABC also led the networks in the categories of Writers/Producers, Directors and Commitment to the Diversity Initiatives, ultimately receiving an overall grade of B. (Let's skip the jokes about "The Asian F." For now.)

In contrast, CBS had 16 Asian American regulars and 22 recurring for a grade of B- in the Actors category, and only 15 Asian American Writers or Producers for a grade of C in that category. NBC had only 11 Asian American regulars and 24 recurring for a grade of C+ in the Actors category, and a total of 18 Asian American Writers or Producer for a grade of C+ in that category. Because both CBS and NBC have a significant number of programs featuring AAPI actors, writers and/or producers in Development (receiving a grade of B+ and B-, respectively, in that category), there's hope their numbers will improve in coming seasons.

Here's the report card:

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