Who is Zen Tran? About the first Asian lead of the Bachelor

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On the 22nd anniversary of the first episode of “The Bachelor,” the franchise announced its first Asian American lead.

It was revealed after Joey Graziade's final selection was revealed during Monday night's finale Zen TranThe 26-year-old physician assistant student from Miami, Florida, will be the next “Bachelorette” lead.

Wearing a purple dress, she walked out on stage to greet an audience of Bachelor Nation alumni and fans. The day before, she was in the emergency room in Scrubs, she said.

The franchise's first Asian lead is “honestly incredible,” he said. Tran is Vietnamese American and bilingual.

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Jen Tran makes history as the first Asian 'Bachelorette' lead

“I feel very grateful and honored to be the first Asian Bachelor in this franchise,” Tran said.

“Growing up, I always wanted to see Asian representation on television. I feel like that's very rare. Anytime Asians are in the media, it's to fill a supporting role, to fulfill some kind of stereotype, and I don't see myself on screen, I don't see myself as a main character,” she said. Because I realized, I found it very fascinating.

She continued, “Standing in this position today, I can't help but think, 'I'm going to lead my love story. I'm going to be the main character in my story.'

In 2017, the franchise made its first major move toward diversity by casting Rachel Lindsay as the first black “Bachelorette” lead. In 2021, the franchise aired its first season with a black bachelor, Matt James.

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When he goes into filming for his season, Tran said, he's looking for a “cheeky joker” and “someone who can take as much as they can eat.”

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Jen Tran appeared on Joey Graziade's season of 'The Bachelor'

Tran was in the top six on this most recent season of “The Bachelor” and was eliminated in episode 7 before going to Graziade's hometown.

Viewers learn more about her during their one-on-one meeting in Episode 3, when she tells Graziade about her turbulent family life. His father slept in his family's basement for six years because of constant fights with his mother, he said.

“I've been in some bad relationships in the past, and I've definitely gone through periods where I thought I was never going to fall in love, never find anyone. It's because of the way I grew up with my family,” she told Graziade.

“It was a very traumatic place to grow up,” he said. “I always felt so unloved by my dad and the whole family situation growing up. I never felt truly loved.”

He revealed that he no longer has a relationship with his dad, and on the March 18 episode of “Girls Tell All,” he described how he and his mom are getting along.

Their “adult relationship is a little bit (detailed) because in Asian culture, you live with your parents until you get married, sometimes even after you get married,” Tran said. “She's never seen me as a full adult. But watching me on TV, seeing me fall in love, and seeing me grow into my own person, she's really been monumental in our relationship because I can feel her seeing me as my own person. .”

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“She's the girl I want to be when I grow up,” he said of his mom. “She came here from Vietnam and she quit medical school to provide a good life for my brother and me. When my dad left, she took on the role of two parents and never once complained.”

According to ABC's press release, “Tran is a sweet and compassionate woman who has dedicated her life to helping others and is currently studying to become a paramedic. When not studying, Tran enjoys reading, paddleboarding and traveling. She has a chance.”

Asian Americans are underrepresented in television and movies

Nielsen's 2023 report An analysis of Asian American representation in the media revealed that Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) audiences “feel the least represented among all ethnic groups in the media.”

And, according to the report, “AANHBI people are underrepresented in broadcast and cable programming, which accounts for the majority of viewing among American viewers.”

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In 2022, AANHPI had a 4.1% screen share of broadcast content (including those on ABC), compared to a population estimate of 6.4% – and a 5% screen share when viewing broadcast, cable and streaming content.

East Asians see more representation than South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

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