Officials at WDTN have apologized to tal and reality show host Julie Chen a day after she reveal comments from one of the station’s former news directors led to her developing a complex about her Asian heritage that ended in plastic surgery.
“We are sorry to hear about what happened to CBS’ Julie Chen in 1995 when she was a reporter at WDTN-TV,” Joe Abouzeid, WDTN and WBDT president and general manager said in a statement. “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.”
WDTN is now owned by LIN Media. It was owned by the Hearst Corporation when Chen worked there.
Chen is host of CBS’ “Big Brother” and co-host of “The Talk.”
During a segment of the Talk yesterday, Chen said a former WDTN-TV news director told her she would never be accepted in Dayton as an anchor.
“It is cold out in the field. I wanted to try to get a seat on the anchor desk so I asked my news director ‘you know holidays, anchors want to take vacation could I fill in. You know, I don’t care, I will work Christmas.’ He said ‘you will never be on this anchor desk because you are Chinese.’ And he said ‘let’s face it, Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we really have here in Dayton? Our audience can’t relate to you because you are not like them,” Chen recalled on the talk show.
A high-powered agent echoed many the new manager’s views and Chen ultimately elected to get a “double eyelid surgery.” The cosmetic procedure reshapes the skin around the eye so that the eye looks more Western.
We were among the first to write about Chen’s revelation yesterday.
Contact this columnist at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth