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‘Bachelorette’ Star Comments on ‘Unfortunate’ Absence of Asian Men This Season

The Bachelorette star Jenn Tran has recently spoken about the lack of male Asian representation on her season. Tran hopes her presence as a Vietnamese American will inspire others who share her background.

Tran, 26, is making history as the first Asian American lead in the popular dating reality show. She was announced as the lead for Season 21 following her participation in the latest season of The Bachelor.

Last month, the network revealed the 25 men who will compete for her affection. Among the diverse group, only one contestant, Thomas N, is Asian American.

“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 shared in an interview with Glamour.

“Asian men haven’t always seen themselves in this position, and I am hoping that me being here and 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. They can be in this position as well. I’m hoping that it inspires them.”

Regarding the conclusion of her season, Tran teased, “The whole journey happened in a way that needed to happen, and I’m very happy with the way that things ended.”

“It’s definitely an ending that I didn’t see coming for myself. My family won’t see it coming, and I don’t think the viewers will see it coming too. I’m excited for it all to unfold.”

The Bachelor franchise has a troubled history regarding racial representation and has faced significant criticism over the years.

Fifteen years after its 2002 debut, Rachel Lindsay became the first Black lead in 2017. It wasn’t until 2021 that Matt James was featured as the first Black male lead. Unfortunately, James’ season was marred by racial controversies for which the producers later apologized.

“We let Matt down,” executive producer Bennett Graebner told The Los Angeles Times. “That season went wrong on so many levels. We did not protect him as we should have. The finale of that season was the darkest day I’ve had on this franchise.”

Graebner continued, “It’s hard to say out loud, that people of color didn’t see themselves represented, that they did not see The Bachelor franchise as a safe place.”

“We didn’t have a Black lead in this franchise for 15 years, and that’s inexcusable. It created a vicious cycle, and it’s taken a lot of work to get back to a place where we feel at least we’re working for the positive.”

Season 21 of The Bachelorette premieres on Monday, July 8 on ABC at 8pm ET, with new episodes airing weekly.

Source: Glamour, The Los Angeles Times