Julie Chen Moonves Alleges ‘The Talk’ Fired Her as ‘Collateral Damage’ for Husband Les’ Alleged Misconduct: Biggest Book Revelations

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In Chapter 4, Chen Moonves goes into detail about experiencing racism when she was growing up, especially from young kids in grade school, because she looked and spoke differently. While coming up in broadcasting, she was told to “sound like you were from middle America” and that the “preference is, it’s great if you also look more Western.”

“So, there were times growing up when I would look in the mirror and try the scotch tape trick. Anyone who’s Asian knows what I’m talking about. You basically take a piece of Scotch tape that you’ve cut to look like a crescent moon to fit over your eyelid, and you tape it above your lash line. So when you blink and open your eyes, your eyes look bigger, round. More Western, if you will,” she says. “Little did I know back then as a teenager that the shape of my eyes and looking Asian would be something that would be a stumbling block when I started my on-air career. And it did, it became an issue.”

Later in life, she was hired as the morning news anchor in Dayton, Ohio, but when her supervisor left, the new news director told her she couldn’t have the job. Telling her, “Viewers need to relate, and I just don’t think they’re gonna be able to relate to you because we don’t really have an Asian community.”

This led her to New York — but first she wanted to find a new agent. A “top guy in the business” told her he wouldn’t “waste his time” unless she got eyelid surgery, telling her she looked “disinterested or angry when you’re on camera because you have those heavy Asian eyelids.” With that, he gave her a list of plastic surgeons that would do a double eyelid surgery.

“He told me, I guarantee you, if you get this surgery done, you’re going to a Top 10 market right after. You have the talent, but you don’t quite have the look. I remember feeling intrigued, confused, shocked, interested, a little bit insulted, but this guy represented the biggest names in the business, So I thought, you know, he is not saying it to be mean; Let me meditate on this,” she says, noting that she called her parents, who were very supportive. “I thought about it a lot, but ultimately I decided to go for it. I got the eyelid surgery and a year later I landed in New York, but I didn’t sign with that agent.”


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