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First Asian American ‘Bachelorette’ on Mixed Reactions: ‘Racism Still Exists’

The newest “Bachelorette,” Jenn Tran, has acknowledged that the public reaction to her casting has been “mixed.” Tran, who is the show’s first Asian American lead, candidly shared, “I won’t say that it’s all been positive because racism still exists.”

In a heartfelt conversation with People, Tran revealed, “I have gotten a lot of hate messages, but along with that, I’ve also received so much gratitude from people who are thrilled to see someone like me on their screen. I feel so honored to be that role model because growing up, I never had that. I am becoming the person I always wanted to see as a little girl.”

Tran recounted that she started filming immediately after the announcement was made, which meant her phone was taken away. As a result, she wasn’t aware of the public’s reactions until after her time on the show concluded. “I was so excited and so hopeful, and then I go online and read a bajillion people’s opinions on everything. That was really disappointing,” she remarked.

Despite the initial reactions, Tran is eagerly looking forward to the season’s Monday premiere. “Are you kidding me? I’m not going to watch the best two months of my life? Of course, I am!” she exclaimed. “I am so excited for it to premiere. It feels surreal that this crazy journey happened, and I can’t wait to watch it back.”

Prior to Tran’s season, the producers of “The Bachelor” acknowledged the show’s historical struggles with racism over its 20+ year run. In an in-depth interview with the Los Angeles Times, producers Bennett Graebner and Claire Freeland reflected on past shortcomings and expressed their hopes for positive changes moving forward.

Addressing Tran’s casting, Freeland commented, “We can’t change the minds of people who aren’t interested in this new direction. What we have the power to do is change the program. There’s a reason why this show has been around for 20 years. The dream and desire for true love will never go out of style. We hope that people can look at the last couple of years and see that we are intending and taking steps to make the change.”

Source: People, Los Angeles Times, TheWrap