Dear Julie Chen:
I know you remember me though you’ll never acknowledge me, but I do have some words for you. Woman-to-Woman. I never liked you, and I judged you before I even met you in 2003, because of your very public affair with the President and CEO of CBS Les Moonves before he was ever divorced. Your sleeping with a married man with children in the public eye was unacceptable to me then, and it’s unacceptable to me now.
Your multiple reconstructions to your facial structure to lose your naturally Chinese features sent a message to me and other Asian women at the time, that looking more “white” is how you got ahead in life. Your drastic plastic surgeries were unacceptable to me then, but now I understand more the pressures you must have been under at the time your career needed a boost. You must have faced worse racism than anything any of these Big Brother Houseguests could throw at you or me, because I know that in a white corporate conglomerate being Asian sets you apart. Racism is closeted and hidden to the highest degree, and I don’t want to judge you anymore for what you felt you had to do to fit in to be a cookie-cutter journalist…and apple of the Moonves eye.
I remember that you were sent to Kuwait and you bombed. You did. You went over there expecting your usual bottled water, and wearing pretty sweater sets like you were about to have brunch, and not expecting sand storms all up on your lip-glossed mouth. You were only there because of your relationship with Les Moonves, but I followed you, and researched you because there aren’t many Asian women in media with the kind of klout that you have…that you can have. In a field dominated by white women, you simply were one of the few Asian could-be trailblazers.
I’ve always been harsh on you from the beginning, and everybody in the Big Brother 4 house and production knew it the season I won. I was aware of my acts when I talked badly about you during live shows when we went to commercial. I was obnoxious and rude, and took advantage of the fact that you might be able to hear me from the studio on those days as I cracked jokes about you. I remember I was asked to “take it easy” but I wouldn’t. I had so much respect for everyone on the Big Brother 4 team but I had no respect for you. I am sorry that I was such a hostile bitch then. Our exchanges were awkward at best after I’d won, and I know it was because of me. Deliberately.
When I came back with Jack in 2006 to write on the “Revenge of the Houseguests” blog on the CBS website, I was being myself then just like I am now. It didn’t go over very well with many fans online, but it did with others and I found a sample of it on Jokers. My point in this is that I also poked fun at you too…the same things I still poke fun at you about now…your hair and clothes and makeup and superficial things. You were and still are a part of the show, and you are fair game.
So a few weeks into the blog your assistant called me. She asked me if I could stop mentioning you in the Revenge of the Houseguests blog posts and I told her no. There was nothing in the contract I’d signed saying you were off limits. I didn’t care. They were just jokes about you being Chenbot.
Fast forward many many years and you are a mother. I am a mother. You are a wife. I am a wife. You are an Asian voice. I am one too, but yours is bigger. You have a child of mixed heritage as do I. I admire how you protect your son and I strive to protect my Noah too. Actively. I know it’s not easy.
I am not watching anymore. You have to host it.
Talking about “hot” topics on “The Talk” to promote Big Brother 15 is one thing and I understand the need for ratings and Poppy sightings, but Julie…can you walk the walk in addition to the talkity-talk and do something more? Please? I know you’re “normal” off-camera but I don’t care if you do something on or off any camera.
I don’t like how you got to where you got, but I recognize the impact you could have if you didn’t just “sit by and watch like the rest of us.” We’ve seen where that’s led in history. Have ratings trumped human damage?
Represent yourself and nobody else for a moment and draw the line somewhere? Les can’t because he doesn’t have to, but you still can. If he loves you and you love him there’s nothing you can’t do, right?