The Fox network got an incomplete grade from the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition in its latest report card on the employment of Asian-Americans in prime-time network television. ABC went to the head of the class with a solid “B,” but Fox was given its incomplete because it refused to provide any data for the study.
Overall, APAMC chair Daniel Mayeda said he is “encouraged by the gains in Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders represented in various categories on three networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC.”
ABC was the only network to receive an A- grade in any of six categories – in both its “commitment to diversity,” and in the employment of actors in regular and recurring roles. ABC also scored highest (B+) in the employment of Asian-American writers/producers and directors.
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ABC’s overall B grade matched the highest APAMC has ever awarded since it began grading the networks 16 years ago, and was boosted by the 21 regular and 23 recurring Asian American actors employed last season on its prime-time shows. An unprecedented three ABC series – Fresh Off the Boat, Quantico and the now-canceled Ken – featured Asian-American actors in lead roles last season.
CBS received an overall B- and CBS got an overall C+, and both received B+ grades for their commitment to diversity. CBS got a B- and NBC a C+ for their employment of Asian-American/Pacific Islander actors.
Unscripted prime-time network shows had room for the most improvement, the study found, with none of the networks receiving better than a C+ grade for the number of Asian-American/Pacific Islander hosts and contestants.
Here’s the report card for each network:
|Commitment to Diversity||A-||B+||I*||B+|
*Incomplete, no data provided by network
APAMPC said that in the past few years, ABC, CBS and NBC “generally have shown improvement in developing Asian-American talent as actors, writers, directors, and producers, though each network demonstrated varying strengths and weaknesses depending on the category.”
In 2000, each of the four networks entered into a “memorandum of understanding” with member-organizations of the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, which included APAMC, the NSAACP, the National Latino Media Council and American Indians in Film and Television. The goal of the agreement was to increase representation for all minority groups on-screen and behind the cameras on network television
APAMC, however, says that Fox refused to provide any employment data for the 2016-17 season, as was required by the agreement. APAMC said “Fox’s numbers in all categories were incomplete because, unlike the other networks and contrary to the terms of the MOU [Memoranda of Understanding] it signed in 2000, Fox has not yet provided the MEMC [Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition] with data measuring their progress toward diversity goals. As a result, Fox gets a solid ‘Incomplete’ grade across the board.” The organization also gave Fox an Incomplete grade for the 2011-12 season. Fox now has new staff for its diversity initiatives promised the APAMC that they will “act expeditiously to come into compliance with its obligations under its MOU.”
“This past season and the current 2017-2018 season are setting new standards for representation, although there were many missed opportunities for inclusion,” Mayeda said. “We look forward to working with the networks to continue to elevate the presence of Asians and Pacific Islanders in all categories, with a particular emphasis on shows on which we are able to tell our own stories by having leading roles.”
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