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Ken Jeong Says ABC Is Paving The Way For Asian Visibility On TV

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 2/10/2015 Rahel Gebreyes
ATHENA IMAGE © Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

ABC is leading the charge when it comes to diversity on network television, actor Ken Jeong told HuffPost Live on Thursday.

Jeong, whose new show,  "Dr. Ken," premieres on the network Friday, hailed the network for being a pioneer, especially in providing opportunities for Asian-American visibility. ABC is the first network in history to have three shows featuring Asian leads on the air simultaneously, two of which feature Asian families, Jeong added.

"I think ABC has done an amazing job in championing diversity in programing. You have 'Quantico,' you have 'Fresh Off the Boat' and you have my show. You have not one, but two primetime sitcoms featuring Asian-American families," he said. "What ABC has done is groundbreaking. None of the other networks have one Asian-American family sitcom, and ABC has two. They're putting their money where their mouth is when they say they want to reflect diversity in America."

The atmosphere is just as supportive behind the scenes, Jeong continued.

"For 'Dr. Ken,' any notes that we get for how to improve the scripts or anything ... it's always creative," he said. "It's always just based on story, not ethnicity. We're judged by the same metric as any sitcom, which is so refreshing and it's inspiring."

Jeong also applauded Margaret Cho's "groundbreaking" show "All-American Girl" and the aforementioned hit "Fresh Off the Boat," now in its second season, for opening the door for Asian-American representation on television. As he put it, there's nothing but "genuine love and support" between the two comedy shows.

"If it wasn't for 'Fresh Off the Boat''s success, my show wouldn't be on the air. That show is the most successful show featuring an Asian family," he said. "They have just really changed the game, and I'm a huge fan of that show. … I really look up to those guys. I really think those guys are the gold standard."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with "Dr. Ken" star Ken Jeong here.

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