Julie Chen admitted to going under the knife for a cosmetic procedure in order to change her "Asian eyes" on live television this week.
The famed broadcast journalist nervously opened up on "The Talk" on Wednesday where she made the shocking emotional reveal.
"My secret dates back to- my heart is racing- it dates back to when I was 25 years old and I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio," Chen began.
Now a fellow host on "The Talk," Chen went on to recount the racism she experienced as a young journalist.
"I asked my news director, 'Over the holidays, if anchors want to take vacations, could I fill in?' And he said, "You will never be on this anchor desk, because you're Chinese," the 43-year-old Chinese-American explained.
Furthermore, Chen said her director questioned the audience's ability to relate to a Chinese news anchor before criticizing her "Asian eyes."
"He said, 'Let's face it, Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we have in Dayton,'" Chen recalled. "'On top of that, because of your heritage, because of your Asian eyes, sometimes I've noticed when you're on camera and you're interviewing someone, you look disinterested, you look bored.'"
Unsurprisingly, the director's words "felt like a dagger in my heart," and while the journalist sought a new job, she encountered the same judgment.
"This one big-time agent basically told me the same thing," Chen explained. "He said, 'I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger.'"
Although the decision was not an easy one, and it resulted in a family divide, Chen underwent plastic surgery on her eyes.
Fortunately, the controversial decision to go under the knife paid off for Chen, and after the surgery, "the ball did roll" for her career.
Also, although some saw her plastic surgery as a denial of her Chinese heritage, Chen harbors no regrets.
"I don't like to live with regrets," Chen said during the episode of "The Talk."
"No one's more proud of being Chinese than I am," she added.
"The Talk" host Sharon Osbourne agreed, saying, "It was the right thing to do."
"I think you were beautiful before and you're beautiful now," added Sara Gilbert.
Watch a clip from Chen's admission on YouTube here.