Nielsen Report Shows Increase in On-screen AAPI Representation

The numbers are in, and it’s official: Asian American and Pacific Islander representation is on the rise.

Today, May 18, data measurement firm Nielsen released the 2022 Asian American Diverse Intelligence Series report. An analysis of broadcast, cable, SVOD, advertising and gaming, the report shows the metrics of how and where AAPI have been represented in mainstream media over the past year. Data comes from Gracenote Inclusion Analytics.

Overall, 2021 saw a notable upswing in AAPI representation. 50% of the top 10 TV shows watched in the US now feature Asian talent, up from 0% in 2020. The increase has mainly been driven by content on streaming platforms, but the top 1500 programs on broadcast, cable and streaming video on demand have also upped AAPI visibility over the year, from 3.5% to 4.6%. The report also depicts a marked advancement in the representation of Asian American women.

While there is, of course, still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to on-screen representation, the analysis depicts an appreciation for AAPI-led and -created content on all levels. “The media industry has continued to invest in content that is diverse, inclusive and more accurately incorporates Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander themes and narratives,” Pat Ratulangi, Nielsen’s Global Communications, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion VP, said. “We are doing our part to fight anti-Asian sentiment and the stereotypes that are reinforced by the way Asian Americans are portrayed on screen—strengthening the need to keep highlighting Asian stories through culturally inclusive programming across the industry.”

For more information, you can read the full report here.