The Bachelorette’s Jenn Tran: It’s ‘Unfortunate’ There Weren’t More Asian Men in Cast

Jenn Tran, star of The Bachelorette Season 21 (premiering Monday, July 8 on ABC), says that it is “unfortunate” that there weren’t more Asian men among her 25 suitors.

Tran, a 26-year-old of Vietnamese descent who is currently studying to become a physician assistant, first joined Bachelor Nation as a contender on Joey Graziadei’s season of The Bachelor, which wrapped in March. The night that finale aired, it was officially announced that Tran would be ABC’s next Bachelorette.

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On June 3, ABC revealed the list of 25 men who would be vying for roses from Jenn, and precious few are Asian like her. (One of the men, Thomas N., a retirement adviser from Georgia, is also Vietnamese; at least one other, by some unconfirmed accounts, is part Korean.)

Asked in a Q&A if she wished more of her on-screen dating pool “came from the same culture and background” as her, Tran said yes, adding: “I can’t really speak to the casting process and the decisions that were made, but it is unfortunate that there weren’t a lot of Asian men this season.”

On reality-TV dating shows such as The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, “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. They can be in this position as well. I’m hoping that it inspires them.”

Bachelorette EP Bennet Graebner, as part of a recent, larger Los Angeles Times piece on Bachelor Nation’s long-running issues with race, said of the parcity of Asian suitors, “That’s on us. We didn’t do what we needed to do.

“Our hope is that [Asian men] will see Jenn and realize this is a safe space,” Graebner added. “We’re not saying it will solve and fix everything. But it is a step.”

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