Published September 12, 2013
Julie Chen disclosed in an emotional episode of "The Talk" on Wednesday, that she underwent eye surgery after she was told that she wouldn't sit at an anchor desk because of her "Asian eyes."
"My secret dates back to -- my heart is racing -- it dates back to when I was 25 years old and I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio," Chen, 43, recalls. "I asked my news director … over the holidays if anchors want to take vacations, could I fill in? And he said, 'You will never be on this anchor desk, because you're Chinese.' He said 'Let's face it Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we have in Dayton? On top of that because of your Asian eyes, I've noticed that when you're on camera, you look disinterested and bored.'"
Chen adds that when she went to find an agent, she was told something similar. "This one big-time agent basically told me the same thing. He had the biggest names in the business. ...He said, 'I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look better.' He then whips out a list of plastic surgeons who have done this procedure."
The procedure trimmed down the excess skin found above the eyelids, and the co-host says it did help get her jobs. "And after I had it done, the ball did roll for me, and I wondered, did I give into the man?"
That being said, Chen continues, "I don't like to live with regrets. I did it. I moved on. No one is more proud to be Chinese than I am."