Disney-ABC to reach out to #AAPI moms for #FreshOffTheBoat!

Constance Wu, who plays Jessica Huang on ABC's new sitcom "Fresh Off The Boat"
Constance Wu, who plays Jessica Huang on ABC’s new sitcom “Fresh Off The Boat”

It’s no secret: Fresh Off The Boat has been hugely impactful to the AAPI community. One particular subset that has connected with the show are AAPI mothers, particularly first-generation parents who gravitate to Constance Wu’s funny, poignant and nuanced portrayal of an intelligent, fiercely passionate fish-out-of-water immigrant mother in Jessica Huang.

That may be at least partially why AAPI family bloggers reacted with such dismay earlier this week with news that a Disney-ABC mommy blogger junket that included a screening and cast meet-and-greet for Fresh Off  The Boat  and Big Hero 6 included no self-identifying Asian American or Pacific Islander family bloggers. Lack of AAPI representation at this junket was a missed opportunity to engage with the AAPI community surrounding programming of particular significance to us.

Yesterday, I blogged about why these kinds of promotional junkets are important, and how Disney-ABC could stand to benefit by increasing engagement with Asian American consumers.

Today, we’ve got some amazing news from this studio: it looks like Disney-ABC heard us!

While it’s too early to publish any details, I’m hearing through the grapevine that the producers of Fresh Off The Boat are planning to reach out to AAPI family bloggers to help foster greater community engagement with Asian American and Pacific Islander parents! This is happening in the wake of readers letting me know that during the shooting of Fresh Off The Boat, an AAPI press junket was organized for bloggers in the Los Angeles area to tour the set and meet the cast. Clearly, focused outreach to AAPI is intended to be part of the marketing of the show; the memo just didn’t make it to the entire marketing team.

Basically, folks, I’m hearing that many of the missteps we’ve seen surrounding the marketing of Fresh Off The Boatthe icky tweet, the blogger bus oversight — were oversights related to a full-throated and multi-pronged (and consequently somewhat uncoordinated) marketing strategy being conducted by multiple promotional groups. In fact, the production team immediately responsible for Fresh Off The Boat are intensely dedicated to building communication with Asian American and Pacific Islander viewers.

So, readers, it sounds as if Fresh Off The Boat isn’t just sharing AAPI stories, but they are also interested in listening to us and our concerns. Furthermore, the turnaround between bloggers publishing frustration and a response from the studios was lightning fast. Really, guys, I can’t even begin to tell you how impressed I am by this!

(For those curious, no — I am not putting my name forward to ask to participate in the family blogger outreach event, whatever it may end up being. There are many AAPI family bloggers who deserve this opportunity far more than I.)

I’ll publish more details regarding this AAPI family blogger outreach from the folks behind Fresh Off The Boat when they become available. In the meanwhile, please be sure to tune in tonight at 8pm EST/PST for episodes 3 and 4 of Fresh Off The Boat on ABC. I will be live-tweeting at 8pm EST, along with a number of other AAPI bloggers through the hash-tag, #FreshOffTheBoat.

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