First Asian American ‘Bachelorette’ Calls Reaction to Her Casting ‘Mixed’: ‘Racism Still Exists’

The newest “Bachelorette” admitted that public reaction to her selection as this season’s lead has been “mixed.” Jenn Tran, the show’s first Asian American lead, explained, “I won’t say that it’s all been positive because racism still exists.”

“I have gotten a lot of hate messages, but along with that, I’ve also gotten so many people who have been so grateful to see somebody like me on their screen,” she told People. “I feel so grateful and honored that I get to do that for people because growing up, I never had that. I am becoming the role model that I’ve always wanted to see as a little girl.”

Tran added that she began filming right after she was announced, which meant her phone was taken away and she didn’t see any public reactions to the announcement until after the experience was finished. “I was so excited and so hopeful, and then, I go online and I read a bajillion people’s opinions on everything. That was really disappointing,” she said.

Still, ahead of the season’s Monday premiere, Tran said she can’t wait to watch it all over again.

“Are you kidding me? I’m not going to watch the best two months of my life? Of course, I am!” she said. “I am so excited for it to premiere. I feel like it’s so weird that this crazy journey happened, and I am just so excited to be able to watch it back.”

Ahead of Tran’s season, the producers of “The Bachelor” acknowledged the show’s struggles with racism throughout its 20+ years. In a lengthy interview with the Los Angeles Times, producers Bennett Graebner and Claire Freeland reflected on how the series has failed and what they hope to change going forward.

Following the casting of Tran, Freelance explained, “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.”

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