AAPI Panelists Examine Media Representation for Fastest-Growing Racial Group in U.S., in Partnership With CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)

The Television Academy Foundation today announced it will present, in partnership with CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), The Power of TV: Advancing AAPI Representation,” a free online event on July 27.

The open-to-the-public virtual forum will assemble current AAPI industry leaders helping to drive inclusion in television. Panelists will discuss their own personal career paths to success and the challenges faced when advocating for inclusivity. In addition, the panel will explore strategies for greater equity within the industry for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Panelists for the event include actor Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead); The Cleaning Lady creator and executive producer Miranda Kwok; and Kenny Tsai, senior vice president of current programming at Universal Content Productions. Additional panelists to be announced. Michelle K. Sugihara, executive director of CAPE, will moderate the discussion.

According to a 2021 Pew Research Center report, the Asian population in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2000 and 2019 and is projected to surpass 46 million by 2060, making it the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. 

Yet a significant representation gap exists both on screen and behind the scenes. In addition, programming continues to fall short of portraying the AAPI communities in a broad and inclusive manner. According to a 2021 USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative report, most portrayals fall into the categories of silenced, stereotyped, tokenized, isolated and sidekicks/villains.

“In the wake of increasing discrimination and violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, it is ever more important for the television community to commit to full, authentic, and equal representation for AAPI talent on-screen and behind the scenes,” said Cris Abrego, chair of the Television Academy Foundation. “Through public programs such as this one, the Foundation is dedicated to creating the space for substantive solution-oriented discussions on advancing equity in representation for historically excluded and perpetually misrepresented groups.”

“Conversations like this are important to humanize the discussion around representation and the harmful effects of stereotypical narratives,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, CAPE executive director. “We’re grateful to the Television Academy Foundation for recognizing the importance of voices both behind and in front of the camera.”

The online event will be held Wednesday, July 27, 5:00 – 6:30 PM (PDT). Admission is free; RSVP is required. To register, visit TelevisionAcademy.com/power-of-tv/tickets.

Launched in 2017, “The Power of TV” is the Television Academy Foundation’s series of public programs showcasing television’s power to promote positive social change through compelling and inclusive storytelling. Thoughtfully curated conversations with storytellers, advocates and subject-area experts challenge the status quo and explore pathways to full inclusion of underrepresented perspectives and historically excluded groups make up this event series.

“The Power of TV: Advancing AAPI Representation” is also part of the curriculum for the Foundation’s 2022 Summer Internship Program. The event will be made available for on-demand viewing at a later date on TelevisionAcademy.com.

About the Television Academy Foundation

Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs, such as The InterviewsAn Oral History of Television Project, College Television Awards and SummitStudent Internship and Fellowship Programs and the Media Educators Conferencethe Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. For more information on the Foundation, please visit TelevisionAcademy.com/Foundation.

About CAPE

CAPE is the premier nonprofit organization creating opportunities and driving change for Asian and Pacific Islander (API) success in Hollywood. CAPE works to shift culture through storytelling to create a better world. For over 30 years, we have fought for API representation in film and television because what we watch on our screens should reflect the world in which we live and project a better one. CAPE advances representation for APIs in Hollywood through three main verticals: (1) nurturing and engaging creative talent and executive leadership; (2) providing cultural script consulting and talent referrals; and (3) championing projects for critical box office and streaming success. Follow @capeusa on Instagram and Twitter, or visit our website at capeusa.org.