Officials at WDTN, an Ohio TV station where Julie Chen worked in 1990s, have apologized for racism she experienced while working there. Chen, who recently claimed that she had underwent plastic surgery to make her eyes more "western," was told by her former boss that she would not be able to be a news anchor at the station because of her physical features.
"We are sorry to hear about what happened to CBS' Julie Chen in 1995 when she was a reporter at WDTN-TV," WDTN and WBDT president and general manager Joe Abouzeid said in a statement, as quoted by Dayton Daily News. "The station was under different management and ownership during that time. At WDTN and WBDT, we don't tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind."
Chen is currently a host on "Big Brother" and a co-host on "The Talk". In Wednesday, September 11 episode of "The Talk", Chen revealed that she had underwent plastic surgery to her eyes. She said, "When I was 25, I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio. I asked my news director if I could fill in [for vacationing reporters over the holidays]."
"He said, 'You will never be on this anchor desk, because you're Chinese.' Because of your Asian eyes, I've noticed that when you're on camera, you look disinterested and bored,' " Chen continued saying. Chen, who met an agent for career advice, revealed, "This one big-time agent basically told me the same thing. He said, 'I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger.' " She later underwent the procedure after talking to her parents.
Following the plastic surgery revelation, Chen said in a statement that her parents "could not be more proud of me." Chen said, "I felt vulnerable and nervous that the haters who hide behind their computers on the Internet would come out and say mean things. And some did. That was expected." However, she also received e-mails and tweets of support from non-Asian people and she was thankful.
Her parents were among the supporters. "I was overwhelmed with love and relief when she sent me an email right after it aired, saying she and my father could not be more proud of me," Chen told Us Weekly.