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City Honors ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

Front row, from left: “Fresh Off the Boat” cast members Randall Park, Hudson Yang and Ian Chen; back row, from left: executive producers Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan, Michelle Ryu (mother of Councilmember David Ryu), executive producer Nahnatchka Khan, Councilmember Ryu, Mayor Eric Garcetti, cast members Forrest Wheeler, Lucille Soong and Chelsey Crisp, Council President Herb Wesson.

As part of the city’s celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Los Angeles leaders honored the cast and creative team of ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” on May 2 at City Hall.

“Fresh Off the Boat,” which has been renewed for a fourth season, is based on a memoir by restaurateur Eddie Huang and focuses on a Taiwanese American family that moves from Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Fla. in the mid-1990s.

It was the first sitcom about an Asian American family on a major network since ABC’s cancellation of Margaret Cho’s “All-American Girl” 20 years ago. A decade earlier, Pat Morita starred in a short-lived sitcom, “Mr. T and Tina,” also on ABC.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmember David Ryu declared “Fresh Off the Boat Day” in Los Angeles during that day’s City Council meeting.

“We have come a very long way, and today’s celebration showcases our city’s diverse tapestry and reaffirms our commitment to the inclusion of all people, no matter your race, background or immigration status,” said Ryu.

Cast members in attendance were Randall Park (Louis), Hudson Yang (Eddie), Forrest Wheeler (Emery), Ian Chen (Evan), Lucille Soong (Grandma Huang) and Chelsey Crisp (Honey). They were joined by executive producers Nahnatchka Khan, Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan.

“Rarely did I get to see my unique Asian American experience reflected in the movies or on TV,” said Park. “Occasionally a trail would be blazed by someone like Pat Morita or Margaret Cho, but the perspectives coming out of Hollywood remained and still remain predominantly one-sided, so for me it is an honor that we are being recognized for our show that is helping to change things.”

Stories with an Asian American perspective include a recent episode in which Jessica Huang (Constance Wu) discovers that Tiger Woods is half Asian and goes overboard trying to get one of her sons interested in golf.

The show has gotten positive reviews and featured celebrity guest stars playing themselves, including Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Bolton, Busta Rhymes, Stan Lee, Scottie Pippen, DMX and Billie Jean King. Other guest stars have included Ken Jeong (“Dr. Ken”), Ming-Na Wen (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) and basketball star Jeremy Lin.

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