Congressman Ted Lieu and nine other Congress members called upon the six largest cable companies to expand their AAPI programming, citing the increase in Asian American population.
The members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus sent a letter to the CEOs of major cable companies, such as DISH Network, Comcast and Verizon, calling for increased AAPI accessibility and representation in cable television.
“Culturally specific and in-language programming brings comfort, empowerment, and a sense of belonging to viewers from these communities,” the letter states. “For those outside of the AAPI community, AAPI-specific television programming can provide positive exposure to new cultures and help combat discrimination and harmful stereotyping against AAPIs.”
In a news release, Rep. Lieu refers to a 2021 Pew Research Center study that attributes the Asian American population as the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S., doubling between 2000 and 2019 and projected to reach 46 million by 2060.
The Asian population grew 36 percent over the past 10 years according to the 2020 U.S. Census, the letter states. Despite this, the members state there are no non-premium Asian language channels being carried nationally by the cable distributors.
“Cable providers like DISH Network have the ability to uplift AAPI voices and inform the public on critical issues and news that uniquely affect AAPI communities,” the letter states.
AAPI immigrant representation on television has nearly doubled since 2020, according to a recent study. The letter also asks for increased accessibility for AAPI-specific programming, including expansion of in-language programs and increasing the number of Asian language channels.
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