Awkwafina Reflects on ‘Progress’ Being Made for Asian-Americans on TV: ‘It’s Been Incredible’

TCA 2020: But “Nora From Queens” creator and star still believes shows like hers still “stick out” as “genre-specific”

Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens
Comedy Central

Awkwafina is enjoying a hell of an 18-month run, as are film and TV projects with Asian-American leads and creators. The rapper/actor was asked Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour to reflect on the previously marginalized group’s recent progress, which includes projects like her new Comedy Central series “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens.”

Now 31, Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, remembered being school-aged when Margaret Cho’s groundbreaking sitcom “All-American Girl” came out in 1994.

“I remember that being an event,” Awkwafina said. “That was the representation that I had — and it was a big moment.”

“When you look at the progress we’ve made since then, it’s been incredible, but I think that these shows still kind of stick out as very genre-specific Asian-American shows,” Awkwafina told critics and reporters in attendance. “But I think that slowly and slowly, as these shows become more ingrained as American — as we are — they’ll start to flow out of the genre and [be considered] more broadly.”

Unfortunately, Cho’s “All-American” girl only lasted one 19-episode season. No matter what, “Nora” will beat that.

On Tuesday, Comedy Central renewed “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” for a second season. The series hasn’t even yet debuted — that happens on Jan. 22.

Meanwhile, another Asian-centered show, “Fresh Off the Boat,” will end a six-season run in February.