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Fresh Off the Boat Star Says the Lack of Asians on TV Is "Racism"

Check out the roles he knew weren't for him

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Tim Surette

It took 20 years for network television to air a series featuring an Asian cast after Margaret Cho's ABC sitcom All-American Girl in 1994. Korean-American actor Randall Park, one of the stars of ABC's new comedy Fresh Off the Boat, thinks he knows why.

"There are many theories as to why that is," Park said in an interview with Rolling Stone, "but in simple terms it's just racism."

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8 reasons we need Fresh Off the Boat to succeed

Park plays Louis Huang on the family comedy, and got his big break as Kim Jong-Un in the controversial film The Interview. But getting to where he is today was rough.

"If a casting breakdown said 'All-American Type' or 'Lead Role,' I knew they weren't thinking of me," Park said.

But television might be changing its lily-white reputation and veering toward a more diverse color palette, particularly when it comes to lead roles. In addition to Fresh Off the Boat, which has been a success for ABC, freshmen series Black-ish and Empire have also embraced diversity, as both shows feature predominantly African-American casts and are hits for their respective networks, ABC and Fox. Meanwhile, ABC's programming lineup also includes Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, which both feature African-American leads.

They aren't American?

Park, who has also appeared on The Office and plays a regular role on Adult Swim's NewsReaders, will also be seen in Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

Do you agree with Park's claims?

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