Study finds Asian-American characters “tokens” on TV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new study finds that Asian-American characters are slighted on TV programs despite progress over the last decade.

Professors and scholars at six California universities studied 242 broadcast, cable and digital platform shows that aired during the 2015-16 season.

The study, titled “Tokens on the Small Screen,” was released Tuesday. It tallies numbers, screen time and portrayals of main characters of Asian or Pacific Islander descent among a total of about 2,000 series regulars.

Following up on broadcast TV studies done in 2005 and 2005, the new report found increasing opportunities for Asian-American actors in shows including “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Master of None.”

But researchers concluded Asian-American characters remain underrepresented on TV and are often, quote, “marginalized and tokenized on screen.”

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