Yes, It Matters That #AAPI Bloggers were Left Off The #FreshOffTheBoat Bus

A photo uploaded to Instagram of bloggers boarding the #ABCTVEvent bus.
A photo uploaded to Instagram of bloggers boarding the #ABCTVEvent bus, which included a showing, and cast meet-and-greet for “Fresh Off The Boat”.

Fresh Off The Boat‘s debut this week has rocked the Asian American blogosphere to largely rave reviews (read my review). It has spawned hundreds of thinkpieces, many written by Asian American television viewers ecstatic to see themselves, their families, and their experiences included, for one of the first times, among the lineup of primetime television sitcoms.

Sadly, it seems that at Disney-ABC, this new commitment to diversity extends only as far as investing in a single 22 minute television show; when it comes to marketing and community outreach, the corporate powers-that-be have been seriously dropping the ball.

A week before Fresh Off The Boat premiered, some (former) marketing intern tweeted a bizarrely offensive graphic depicting stereotypical caricatures of people of colour beneath the headline “we’re all a little fresh off the boat” (picture after the jump).

Now, the folks behind Fresh Off The Boat are in hot water again for another marketing misstep related to the sitcom. Last month, Disney-ABC (the parent television group that oversees both Disney and ABC Television products) invited a bunch of people to an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles (#ABCTVEvent) to preview and meet the cast and crew of five shows and movies — including a number that intersect with the identities of communities of colours such as Fresh Off The BoatBig Hero 6, and McFarland USA. 24 bloggers — many of them mommy bloggers — were flown out to participate in this invitation-only junket; not a single one was Asian American.

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