18 Asian And Pacific Islander TV/Movie Characters Who Made People Feel Seen

    "As a Polynesian woman, Moana was a game changer for me. Seeing a Disney princess inspired by my culture made me so proud! I loved the little details that accurately represented my heritage like the tattoos, clothing, mythology, and music. Unfortunately, before Moana, many people I spoke to had never heard of the Pacific Islands (except Hawai'i). After the movie came out, I had a reference that everyone knew and understood. Being seen is so important!"

    Recently, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the AAPI TV and movie characters who made them feel seen. Here are some of their favorites:

    1. London Tipton from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

    Brenda Song in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

    2. Kamala Khan from Ms. Marvel

    Iman Vellani in Ms. Marvel

    3. Mei from Turning Red

    Mei in Turning Red

    4. Moana from Moana


    5. Joy from Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once

    6. Kamala from Never Have I Ever

    Richa Moorjani in Never Have I Ever

    7. Mulan from Mulan

    The animated version of Mulan

    8. The cast from Monsoon Wedding

    The cast of Monsoon Wedding

    9. Numbuh 3/Kuki Sanban from Codename: Kids Next Door

    Codename: Kids Next Door main characters

    10. Bobbie Draper from The Expanse

    Frankie Adams in The Expanse

    11. Jake from American Dragon: Jake Long

    Jake in American Dragon: Jake Long

    12. Pai from Whale Rider

    Pai in Whale Rider

    13. Jade from Jackie Chan Adventures

    Jade and Jackie Chan in Jackie Chan Adventures

    14. Albert from Sione's Wedding

    Maryjane McKibbin-Schwenke, Oscar Kightley in Sione's Wedding

    15. Lana Lang from Smallville

    Kristin Kreuk in Smallville

    16. Kimi Watanabe-Finster from Rugrats

    Kimi in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

    17. Lilo and Nani from Lilo & Stitch

    Stitch, Nani and Lilo surfing in Lilo & Stitch

    18. And finally, Lara Jean Covey in the To All the Boys franchise

    Lana Condor in To All the Boys I've Loved Before

    Which AAPI TV or movie character made you feel seen? Share your story in the comments!

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Check out more API-centered content by exploring how BuzzFeed is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Of course, the content doesn't end after May. Follow BuzzFeed’s A*Pop on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to keep up with our latest API content year-round.

    Collection of AAPI TV and movie characters and the words: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month