Julie Chen Reveals Her Family's Deep Personal Secret

Posted on Sep 15, 2015 | 02:10pm
As promised, the hosts of The Talk are diving deeper into their personal lives.

On Tuesday, host Julie Chen was in the hot seat. The journalist, who is of Chinese descent, revealed some unsettling information that she learned from her family.

She explains that her father was the oldest of five siblings—two brothers and three sisters—and that he was the first of his family to immigrate to the United States in the late 1950s. She goes on to say that, “In the late ‘70s, China began what was known as the one child policy rule. Unfortunately this led to millions and millions of young female Chinese babies to become abandoned, aborted or discarded.”

Julie went on to discuss the importance of having a son in the Chinese culture, saying “It allows a family to continue the family name and all the traditional Chinese customs.”

Although Julie and her two sisters were born in the United States, and her extended family had immigrated to the United States as well, her father’s family still had values deeply rooted in Chinese culture. She says, “My dad’s family grew very, very concerned that my dad had no sons, especially concerned was my dad’s mom. It was almost shameful that her first born son, my dad, would have no sons of his own to carry on the family name from his lineage.”

Julie revealed that her grandmother could not accept this and convinced Julie’s uncle to give up one of his sons to Julie’s father to raise as his own. As Julie’s grandmother believed that Julie and her two sisters weren’t enough, this would lift the perceived family shame.

“My mom said, ‘absolutely not!’ My mom told her mother-in-law, ‘I raised these girls to be independent, strong minded, and I am teaching them to never be ashamed of who they are, what gender they are, and you should learn to be proud of them.’”

It was a brave moment, and one that Julie felt ready to share with fans of The Talk. See Julie's entire reveal below: