‘Dexter’ Actress Jamie Chung Explains Why She Chose Surrogacy


Last fall, actress Jamie Chung and her husband announced they were the proud parents of twins. Fans were equally thrilled and surprised, as Chung hadn’t shared any pregnancy news before they arrived.

Now Chung, more recognizable for his role in the reboot of Dexter, opens up about her decision to use a surrogate to carry her twins, and how her career played a huge role in her choice. In an interview with parents todayshe speaks candidly about pregnancy-related discrimination in Hollywood.

“I was afraid of getting pregnant. I was terrified of putting my life on hold for more than two years. In my industry, it feels like you’re easily forgotten if you don’t work in the months after your last job. Things move so fast in what we do,” Chung said. “So that’s a compromise we made together as a couple.”

The show biz industry isn’t the only industry where pregnant women have to worry about being judged at work. Think about all the time you have to take just for all the regular doctor visits – I know I felt judged every time I had to take time off for an appointment when I was working full time in the world of corporate advertising. You know, the appointments that help keep the pregnant mother healthy and alive and the failed baby. I remember thinking, “God forbid, I’m missing a meeting that could have been an email to make sure my baby’s heart is still beating.”

Related: Jordana Brewster Opens Up About Infertility, Surrogacy, and Her Journey to Parenthood

And that’s just one side of being pregnant at work. Other than that, the reality of pregnancy is that it can be deadly for many people. It is a very serious medical condition that affects your body unlike most other things. There are many jobs that are far from conducive to pregnancy. It’s not for everyone, even those who want to parent their own biological child.

Chung also opened up about the stigma surrounding surrogacy, one of the reasons she kept the fact that she was expecting twins a secret and didn’t talk about it on social media.

“I think there’s a bit of shame. It’s still not a very common thing and we weren’t ready for the judgment,” she explained. “We really did it to protect ourselves. We announced things when we were ready to do so.”

Hollywood Pregnancy Discrimination

Another reality, especially for women in Hollywood, is that while there are ways around pregnancy and so on, pregnancy discrimination is a very real thing.

In the 1990s, a highly publicized example of maternity discrimination in the entertainment industry was the case of Tylo vs. Spelling Entertainment Group. In 1996, soap opera star Hunter Tylo filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against her employer, the Spelling Entertainment Group, for pregnancy discrimination. She maintained that she was fired from the show solely because of her pregnancy.

Lawyers for the Spelling Entertainment Group argued that Tylo breached her contract, which stated that she could be fired for any “significant change in her appearance”. They also claimed the role she was chosen to play in the hit soap opera, Melrose Square, could not be changed to accommodate her pregnancy.

Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978 to prevent pregnant women from losing their jobs, but there have been many cases (especially in Hollywood) where this law has failed to do just that. The above case is just one of them.

Related: My journey to using a surrogate

As for Chung, she is already anticipating the criticism she will receive for having opened up about her choice to have children via a surrogate mother. And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, her story is, if nothing else, a telling reminder that even wealthy and successful women who have the means to choose surrogacy are not immune to discrimination. at work.

Consider what this means for disenfranchised mothers and parents who routinely endure significantly worse situations at work and have neither the privilege nor the means to fight it.

“People probably think, ‘Oh, she’s so vain. She didn’t want to get pregnant,’ and it’s way more complicated than that. For me, personally, and I’ll leave it at that, it’s like I ‘ve worked my whole life to get where I am,” Chung said. “I don’t want to lose opportunities.

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