The Incredible Invisible Asian Men (and Women)

Here is something I feel strongly about : Under-representation of Asian American actors and actresses in American TV.

Last week the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium revealed a new study which said less than 3 percent of regular characters on American TV are played by Asian Americans, though in real life, they make up 5 percent of the U.S. population. Here's the whole report.

My Japanese blog is nothing but silly showbiz gossip, but I do have a semi-serious category called Asian Sighting! (I borrowed this phrase from an episode in Helen Zia's book, "Asian American Dreams : The Emergence of an American People" (2001)). It is so rare to see an Asian face on prime time drama series that each and every time I do, I mention the sighting on my blog. I've been talking a lot about Daniel Dae Kim, the Korean hunk on "Lost." Pre-"Lost," he'd been on "ER," "The Shield," "Angel," "CSI".... I mean he's doing great, but one great-looking Korean actor doing great isn't good enough.

According to an AP story via CNN,

The study also criticized the WB for setting "Charmed" in San Francisco, a city that is one-third Asian American, but including no Asian actors.

Network spokeswoman Pamela Morrison responded: "It's a sci-fi fantasy show, so you can't point to it as a reflection of the real world. ... They don't have a regular Asian American character, but there are guests characters."

Yeah right; Asian Americans are forever guests, forever foreigners, even in San Francisco.

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