Podcast·1 min read

A Brief History of AAPI Characters on Screen

May 3, 2022

From “Everything Everywhere All At Once” to “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” more Asian American stories have made it to the mainstream in the last few years. 

But it isn’t just the big screen that’s changing. Recently, more TV shows representing the experiences of Americans with East Asian and South Asian backgrounds are popping up on our small screens. 

We’ve definitely come a long way from 1994’s “All-American Girl” — one of the first primetime sitcoms to feature an Asian American family. Since then, we’ve had shows that have ditched the stereotypical portrayals and best friend or sidekick roles. And shows like “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Kim’s Convenience,” and “Never Have I Ever” are showing audiences a more realistic view of what it’s like to grow up as an Asian American.     

Today, we’re kicking off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by exploring the evolution of the lived experience of first- and second-generation Asian Americans on TV. 

And we interviewed a few culture critics to get their takes on the shift in AAPI representation and where we go from here.

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