2015 was heralded as a banner year for Asian Americans on television. Ten years prior, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) made up nearly 5% of the U.S. population but only 2.7% of the regular characters in prime time television. As the fastest growing racial group in the United States, AAPIs now comprise 7% of the population. Has television caught up with reality or does it continue to lag behind?
This timely study is a 10-year followup to the original 2005 and 2006 studies (see links below) of AAPIs in prime time network television. Our 2015/2016 rebooted study evaluates not only the raw numbers but also the type, quality, and complexity of characters portrayed by AAPIs in network/cable television and digital streaming services like Netflix.
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