Asian Viewers Seeing More Representation on TV: Horowitz

Apple TV Plus's 'Pachinko' (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Asian consumers are seeing their images being reflected on the small screen in greater numbers across multiple platforms, according to a new survey from Horowitz Research.

According to Focus Asian: State of Consumer Engagement 2022 survey, 40% of Asian consumers reported seeing more Asian representation when it comes to TV content, including in shows such as Chicago Med, Squid Game, Pachinko, The Equalizer and The Cleaning Lady.

On the distribution front, 45% of those surveyed said that original content from streaming services had the best perceived representation of Asian people and their communities, while 41% see strong Asian representation from premium services, said Horowitz.

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In addition, nearly four in 10 consumers are seeing more nuanced portrayals of Asian characters and communities in scripted content, with dramas ranking as the top genre, according to the survey. Content from unscripted dating and lifestyle reality shows fared poorly in the survey, according to Horowitz.

Horowitz Research Chief Revenue Officer and Insights and Strategy Lead Adriana Waterson said that while the industry has been more focused on offering more inclusive programming across the board, there’s an opportunity to be even more inclusive with regards to the depth and breadth of multicultural images offered on TV.

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“In the past few years, there’s been an important shift in focus on behalf of media companies and advertisers to do better when it comes to representation and inclusion in ads and content, which is being noticed,” Waterson said. “However, we are just at the beginning of the conversation about how to do diversity ‘right’. There is still a tremendous opportunity to be inclusive not just of Black and Latinx Americans who comprise the majority of multicultural America, but to reflect a broader multicultural sensibility that is inclusive of other cultural and ethnic communities — such as the very diverse Asian population in the U.S. — that do not get to see themselves portrayed on screen as often as some others do.” ■

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.