Jenn Tran Calls for Greater Asian Representation on ‘The Bachelorette’

Disney/Richard Middlesworth

Jenn Tran, the first Asian lead of The Bachelorette, has expressed her disappointment regarding the lack of Asian men cast as suitors on her season. In an interview with Glamour, Jenn, 26, voiced her desire for more men from similar cultural backgrounds to be included, highlighting the need for better representation.

Hopes for Inspiration

While she acknowledged that she could not influence the casting decisions, she described the situation as “unfortunate.” Jenn emphasized the importance of visibility, hoping that both she and contestant Thomas N. can inspire Asian men to see themselves in such roles. “Asian men haven’t always seen themselves in this position, and I am hoping that me being here and Thomas N. being there, that the both of us can inspire other Asian men to realize that they can do this too if they want,” she said.

Historical Lack of Diversity

The Bachelor franchise has a history of lacking racial diversity. Matt James became the first Black male lead in 2021. His season faced significant controversy over racial issues, including resurfaced images of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at an antebellum-themed party. Former host Chris Harrison’s defense of Rachael’s actions led to his stepping down in 2021 after widespread criticism.

Steps Toward Progress

Executive producers Bennett Graebner and Claire Freeland have acknowledged the franchise’s shortcomings. Graebner admitted to The Los Angeles Times that they “let Matt down” during his season, describing the finale as a particularly dark moment. They have since made it a priority to cast more diverse leads, with Jenn’s season being a step in that direction.

Aiming for Authentic Representation

Freeland noted that extensive discussions with Jenn took place before filming to ensure she felt comfortable expressing her Vietnamese heritage. “Our hope is that they will see Jenn and realize this is a safe space. We’re not saying it will solve and fix everything, but it is a step,” Graebner said.

By allowing Jenn Tran to be her authentic self, the producers aim to create a more inclusive and representative environment on The Bachelorette, marking progress towards greater diversity in reality television.