PBS has lined up a new docuseries centered on Asian American history from producer Renee Tajima-Peña.
The five-part series, produced by WETA and the Center for Asian American Media, will examine the significant role of Asian Americans in shaping American history and identity, from the first wave of Asian immigrants in the 1850s and identity politics during the social and cultural turmoil of the 20th century to modern refugee crises in a globally connected world.
“As America’s home for documentaries, PBS is committed to telling stories that illuminate and celebrate the rich diversity of our country,” Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO, said. “We are proud to share this important series with our audiences, and to deepen understanding about the extraordinary impact of Asian Americans on our national identity.”
The project is slated to debut in May 2020.
Tajima-Peña (“Who Killed Vincent Chin?”, “No Más Bebés”) serves as series producer. Executive producers are Jeff Bieber and Dalton Delan for WETA; Stephen Gong and Donald Young for CAAM; Sally Jo Fifer for ITVS; and Jean Tsien. Eurie Chung produces for Flash Cuts.
“‘Asian Americans’ is a comprehensive multiplatform initiative that will embrace the question of what it means to be an American,” Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA, said. “Following our previous series, ‘The Jewish Americans,’ ‘The Italian Americans’ and ‘Latino Americans’, WETA remains committed to revealing the significant stories of the entire American people.”
“We are proud to support the Center for Asian American Media for the important work they do bringing programs about the Asian American experience to public media and audiences across the country,” Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO, said. “CPB is committed to supporting diverse content for and about people of all backgrounds, and ‘Asian Americans’ is a powerful example of our mission.”
“We are proud to have WETA as a partner on this milestone series, which weaves the histories of many Asian American communities within the broad sweep of American history,” Stephen Gong, executive director of the Center for Asian American Media, said. “These are American stories: stories of resilience in the face of racism, of overcoming challenges as refugees from war and strife, of making contributions in all sectors of society: business, technology, military service, and the arts. These Asian American experiences and voices provide a vital foundation for a future fast approaching, in which no single ethnic or racial group defines America, in which shared principles will define who we are as Americans.”