The Dayton, Ohio, TV station that Julie Chen said made her feel so insecure about her looks that she went under the knife to make her eyes look bigger has issued an apology.
"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 given to the Dayton Daily News. "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."
On the Sept. 11 episode of The Talk, Chen revealed that she opted for plastic surgery after one of her former bosses told her that her "Asian eyes" would prevent her from getting jobs.
"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 told the audience. "I asked my news director [if] 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.'"
She continued, "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.'"
In response to sharing her secret, the Asian American Journalists Association released an official statement praising Chen for telling her story and noting that it should serve as a reminder "of the daily struggles Asian Americans face in the workplace across all industries, not just broadcast journalism."