Asians are being portrayed in the American television and entertainment industry at an increasing rate. If U.S. demographics and recent developments are any indication, this trend will continue. Research concerning what has allowed this increase in diversity follows several theories. Adcock cites the Nielsen State of the Asian American Consumer report to explain the significance of consumption habits among Asian Americans, and how that helps to explain why any cable network would want to increase its portrayal of them: Asian American have money and influence, thus boosting a network's viewership. On a related note, Moylan notes that "diversity sells," explaining that even if one may claim that networks are becoming more diverse to reflect U.S. demographics, the hard numbers such as ratings cannot be ignored. Carter, however, focuses on the message Paul Lee, head of programming for ABC, sent out regarding the new programming: a mission to reflect America.
Several individuals question the true motive in making Television more diverse and whether or not a profit-driven motive can still have positive outcomes for those being represented. Suh and Nguyen saw Fresh Off the Boat as a starting point, but certainly not an all-inclusive representation of being Asian American in America. Orley notes that viewers had mixed reactions, finding it everything from racist to relatable. Procida is less positive, fearing the stereotype trap. Chow follows this notion, fearing the show will end as similar others have.
In this project, I would like to present some statistics in an attempt to clear some of the confusion surrounding just what has allowed ABC to air a show like Fresh Off the Boat. While there will always be questions regarding the true motive, the numbers should shed some light on the issue. As in most cases, while individuals can be biased, the numbers will provide a concrete lens to view these developments.