ASIAN VOICES

Cast Of Margaret Cho's 'All-American Girl' Reunites 25 Years Later

The trailblazing ABC comedy was the first Asian American sitcom to air on network television.

The fam’s back!

Cast members from the groundbreaking Asian American sitcom “All-American Girl” came together for a panel at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on Tuesday, 25 years after the show premiered on ABC. 

And we’re just awash with nostalgia.  

(Left to right) JB Quon, Amy Hill, Clyde Kusatsu and Margaret Cho reunite at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
(Left to right) JB Quon, Amy Hill, Clyde Kusatsu and Margaret Cho reunite at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Phil Yu of the “Angry Asian Man” blog, a pioneer in his own right, moderated the panel discussion, which included the show’s stars Margaret Cho, Amy Hill, Clyde Kusatsu and JB Quon. 

Although the series, which centered on a Korean American family, ran for only one season and was criticized for its portrayal of Asian Americans, its very existence was a rarity at the time. It told the story of rebellious teen Margaret Kim, played by Cho, as she navigated her identity and relationship with her traditional Korean family. Two decades would pass before the next Asian American sitcom, ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” premiered. 

On the panel, Cho noted that racism accounted for the decadeslong gap between the two shows and said that Asian Americans need to keep pushing forward.

“The success of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is great, but we got to make as many projects as we can before white people change their minds,” she half-joked. 

Cho’s comment speaks to the double standard that underrepresented communities deal with in Hollywood. As Daniel Mayeda, chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, previously told HuffPost, the box office triumph of “Crazy Rich Asians” has provided a springboard to further Asian American opportunities in the industry. However, he said, the real test of progress will be “whether these projects are actually completed and released, whether pilots are picked up to series.”

“And, then, as projects inevitably fail (don’t make it on the air or do poorly in ratings or at the box office), will we be allowed to fail and have Hollywood keep trying?” Mayeda said. 

He added, “It is a routine occurrence that all-white or predominately all-white TV shows fail and no one ever says, ‘We shouldn’t do another all-white show.’”

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