The Power of TV: Advancing AAPI Representation
About The Event
The Power of TV:
Advancing AAPI Representation
Presented in Partnership:
Television Academy Foundation
Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE)
A Conversation with:
- Cooper Andrews, Actor, The Walking Dead
- Miranda Kwok, Creator, Writer, Executive Producer, The Cleaning Lady
- Kenny Tsai, Senior Vice President, Current Programming, Universal Content Productions
- Kabir Akhtar, Director, Editor, Never Have I Ever
- Additional panelists to be announced
- Michelle Sugihara, Executive Director, CAPE
According to a 2021 Pew Research Center report, the Asian population in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2000 and 2019 and is projected to surpass 46 million by 2060, making it the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. Yet, a significant representation gap exists both on screen and behind the screen, and programming continues to fall short of portraying the AAPI communities in a broad and inclusive manner.
Developed in partnership with CAPE, The Power of TV: Advancing AAPI Representation brings together AAPI industry leaders who are driving inclusion in television to discuss career paths to success, challenges faced when advocating for inclusivity, and what it takes to achieve greater equity in the television industry.
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This is a public event of the Television Academy Foundation. Television Academy Members and the public are invited to attend virtually.
Cooper is happy to have survived to see the final season of The Walking Dead, which wraps in the latter half of 2022, playing fan-favorite "Jerry".
Cooper was thrilled to take on the role of Billy Batson's (Shazam's) foster dad Vincent Vasquez in DC's big-budget action comedy, Shazam! and looks forward to reprising his role in Shazam! Fury of the Gods slated for 2023. Remaining in the DC Universe, Cooper was honored to be cast as the voice of Aquaman in HBO Max's Aquaman: King of Atlantis.
Cooper also recurred in AMC's breakout hit Halt and Catch Fire. He's appeared alongside Jason Momoa and Julianne Nicholson during the second season of Sundance's The Red Road. His other television work includes time spent on sound departments for various productions, as well as guest starring on Hawaii Five-O, and Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell. He has filmed several independent films including 2021's Darlin', Golgotha, Mandie and the Secret Tunnel and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. He was also one of the stars of the heist action thriller Den of Thieves with Gerard Butler.
Cooper was born in Smithtown, Long Island, NY. He enjoys cooking, screenwriting, archery, weightlifting, and his mother's Raspberry Mountain Pie.
Motorcyclist. Black Belt Martial Artist. Captain of the Rugby Team. These are just a few other titles one can ascribe to writer, creator, actor and producer Miranda Kwok. Always ready to tackle any challenge that presents itself – from jumping out of an airplane to crisis counseling at a women's shelter to backpacking across China in search of a lost bloodline – Miranda is now best known as the Creator and Executive Producer of the U.S. television series adaptation The Cleaning Lady, based on the Argentine series La Chica Que Limpia. Produced by Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment, Miranda wrote the pilot script and developed The Cleaning Lady for the Fox Network.
Miranda's journey into the arts began when she attended Claude Watson, Canada's premier school for the performing arts. Miranda made her television debut at the age of thirteen, and then continued to perform in over forty film, television and stage productions. Committed to rounding out her education and personal growth, Miranda completed an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Toronto. In addition, Miranda had the honor of working as a counselor at a number of crisis centers and women's shelters. There she found a diversity of people who enriched her life in meaningful ways. Through the stories they entrusted in her, she gained invaluable insight and passion to provide support, hope and expression for others. Although her journey began with a formal arts education, it was only when she began to listen to others that she realized in order to offer any kind of perspective and tell the kinds of stories she wanted to tell, she had to write.
With her first screenplay about the so-called military 'comfort women,' Miranda won the Grand Prize in the Slamdance Screenplay Competition. With her first spec script, Miranda landed a Staff Writer position on Spartacus: Blood & Sand on the Starz Network. She has worked as a writer and story consultant on several theme park attractions and immersive experiences, including Wanda Movie Park's 4D Film Streets of Fury and 5D Film Ultimate Energy which was produced by Industrial Light and Magic. More recently, Miranda served as a writer and Supervising Producer for The 100 on the CW Network, working for four seasons on the Warner Bros. TV series.
Miranda's development includes writing ten episodes of Aurelio De Laurentiis' international series Empire of the Dragons, including the pilot episode. Miranda also created an original TV series entitled Snakehead which she developed with Relativity Media and Ixtlan Productions, then she wrote the pilot script for a premium U.S. cable network with Michelle Yeoh attached to star and Oliver Stone attached to direct.
Miranda is a member of the Television Academy, an alum of the WGA Showrunner Training Program, the WGA Writer Access Project, the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, and Film Independent's Project: Involve, through which she earned a full tuition scholarship at The Los Angeles Film School for their Feature Development Program. Miranda is also a 76th-generation descendant of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.
Kenny Tsai is a Senior Vice President of Current Programming for UCP. In this role, he manages day-to-day current series across cable and streaming platforms for the studio. He works closely with development on series pick-ups, serves as a liaison between production and other studio departments, manages up-and-coming writers for the studio, and builds and maintain industry relationships. His projects include Chucky, Queer as Folk, One of Us Is Lying, Umbrella Academy, as well as upcoming series.
Tsai was previously Vice President, Current Programming at Universal Television, where he was responsible for overseeing a roster of drama and comedy series that include Peacock's Bel-Air and Vampire Academy, Netflix's Master of None and Never Have I Ever, Amazon Prime Video's Harlem, Peacock's Saved by the Bell and the critically lauded Apple TV+ anthology series Little America.
He started in the industry as the showrunner's assistant on HBO's Emmy-award winning series Boardwalk Empire before moving over to UCP and, subsequently, Universal Television.
Kabir Akhtar, ACE
Kabir Akhtar, ACE is an Emmy-winning director-editor whose work includes Never Have I Ever, Arrested Development, Resident Alien, and The Academy Awards. A three-time Emmy nominee, he won the award for editing the pilot of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, becoming the first person of color to win in the category. Kabir went on to become a producer-director on that series, and was producer-director on Mindy Kaling's HBO Max series The Sex Lives Of College Girls. He recently directed the pilot of Primo, an upcoming Amazon series by Mike Schur and Shea Serrano.
Kabir has been nominated for a DGA Award and an NAACP Image Award for directing and has been nominated twice for an ACE Eddie Award for editing. Kabir serves on the DGA's National Board as First Alternate, and is Co-Chair of the DGA's Asian American Committee. He is originally from Philadelphia, and has credits on over 450 hours of television.
Michelle K. Sugihara is the Executive Director of CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment). She is also an entertainment attorney, film producer, and adjunct professor for the Claremont Colleges' Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies. She co-leads #GoldOpen, was on the leadership team of Time's Up Entertainment Women of Color, and is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theater. She is also an associate member of Cold Tofu, the nation's premier Asian American comedy improv and sketch group. An avid public speaker, Michelle speaks and teaches across the country on various topics including Representation in Media; Women in Entertainment; Diversity and Inclusion; Leadership; and Improv for Non-Actors. IG: @capeusa; @michsugi.
This event is presented by the
Television Academy Foundation
and Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE).
The event will take place virtually.