The Bachelorette with Jenn Tran, its First Asian American Woman, Premieres Monday July 8

This Monday, July 8th, is the premiere of the new season of The Bachelorette (on ABC), starring Jenn Tran, the first ever Asian American woman to lead the franchise. Just a week before the premiere, Jenn is already calling out the producers of the show:

“Jenn Tran, the first Asian woman to star on “The Bachelorette,” said she’s disappointed at the lack of men who share her culture and background during her season.

“I can’t really speak to the casting process and the decisions that were made, but it is unfortunate that there weren’t a lot of Asian men this season,” Tran said in an interview with Glamour, which was published on July 1.

“Asian men haven’t always seen themselves in this position, and I am hoping that me being and [contestant] Thomas N. being there, that the both of us can inspire other Asian men to realize that they can do this too if they want.”

During the interview, Tran said she connected with an Asian man who competed for her heart on Season 21.

“It’s not every day that you get to bond with somebody on your immigrant parents and you get to connect with somebody on that level, because not everybody can understand that,” she continued. “That was a really special conversation for me because he really understood where I was coming from, and my family means everything to me.””

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette has always had issues with race, or the lack thereof, especially of Asian American men. So when the show has an Asian American woman for the first time, there is only one Asian American man among the 25 contestants. There are more African American men (six!) represented than the lone Asian male, “Thomas N.

We blogged about this over a decade ago, asking, Where Are The Asians In The Bachelor/The Bachelorette? It’s as if the producers are still clueless. As noted at the time of Jenn’s announcement as The Bachelorette back in March:

“After 28 seasons of “The Bachelor” and 20 seasons of its spinoff “The Bachelorette,” ABC’s dating show franchise has cast its first Asian American lead.

Jenn Tran, a 26-year-old studying to become a physician assistant in Miami, will date a group of suitors on a season that will air this summer, according to ABC. Her casting was announced on Monday during the season finale of “The Bachelor,” on which she was a contestant.

“I feel so, so grateful and so honored to be the first Asian ‘Bachelorette’ in this franchise,” Ms. Tran, who is Vietnamese American, said during the episode. She hopes to find a partner and to provide viewers the kind of visibility she had found painfully lacking on TV when she was growing up, she added.

“Anytime Asians were in the media, it was to fill a supporting character role, to fulfill some sort of stereotype,” Ms. Tran said. “I always felt boxed in by that, because I was like, I don’t see myself onscreen. I don’t see myself as a main character.””

Hopefully the male contestants aren’t a bunch of men with “yellow fever“. The Bachelorette  premiers on ABC this coming Monday July 8, at 8 pm/7 pm Central. It will also be available to stream on Hulu.


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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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