In Poll, 26% Couldn't Name a Famous Asian American

Another 18% gave wrong answers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2023 6:00 AM CDT
In Poll, 44% Failed to Name a Living Asian American Celeb
A statue of Hong Kong movie star Bruce Lee is seen on display at Hong Kong's harborfront Avenue of Stars.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

More than a quarter of Americans drew a blank when asked to name a famous living Asian American, according to a study released by the Asian American Foundation. The nonprofit says it polled more than 5,000 Americans and the top answer was "Don't know," at 26%. The second most common answer, at 12%, was Jackie Chan, who's living and Asian but not American. Third, at 6%, was Bruce Lee, who was Asian American but has been dead for almost 50 years. The fourth most common answer was a correct one: Vice President Kamala Harris was named by 5% of respondents.

Other Asian Americans named by 2% or more of those polled included Lucy Liu, Ken Jeong, George Takei, and Connie Chung, while 2% named South Korean boy band BTS. In total, 44% of respondents either couldn't answer the question or gave a wrong answer, NBC News reports. When asked to name a famous Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, the top answer was again "Don't know," at 32%, followed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, at 23%. Johnson's mother is Samoan.

The Asian American Foundation says its survey also found that of all racial groups in the US, Asian Americans, young women in particular, are "the least likely to feel they completely belong and are accepted in the US" due to factors including discrimination and a lack of people like themselves in powerful positions. Asian Americans make up 7.2% of the US population. In the survey, 82% of people overestimated the size of the Asian American population, with many putting the figure at 25% or more of the population. (More Asian Americans stories.)

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