- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2005


LOS ANGELES — A dearth of quality prime-time television roles for Asian-American actors is fueling the image of an asexual, isolated community obsessed with professional status, according to a new study.

Lending a twist to the usual complaints by minority groups of negative stereotyping, the report highlighted the fact that the tiny number of regular Asian-American characters in TV dramas uniformly hold high-status jobs, often in medicine or law enforcement.

The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, a Washington-based civil rights group that commissioned the report, said that even such apparently “positive” imagery carried inherent problems.

“The truth is that our community has an equal number of people who are struggling below the poverty line,” the group’s president, Karen Narasaki, said Monday.

Asian-Americans account for about 5 percent of the U.S. population, but only 2.7 percent of regular prime-time television characters, according to the study, which was carried out by a team of University of California researchers.

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