Constance Wu is opening up about her time on “Fresh Off the Boat” and saying that a senior producer of the 2015–2020 ABC sitcom sexually harassed her.
She tells The New York Times about a producer’s “controlling behaviors” in her memoir Making a Scene. “Fresh Off the Boat was my first-ever TV show. I was thrown into this world,” she added, “I don’t have parents in the industry. And because I was 30, people thought I knew what I was doing. It made me paranoid and embarrassed.”
Wu also told The Atlantic she hadn’t spoken about this before out of fear of repercussions. “I kept my mouth shut for a really long time about a lot of sexual harassment and intimidation that I received the first two seasons of the show,” Wu said.
Once the show got successful after two seasons, she was able to say “no” to the producer’s harassment and intimidation. And, so she thought: ‘You know what? I handled it, nobody has to know, I don’t have to stain this Asian American producer’s reputation. I don’t have to stain the reputation of the show.”
The actress addressed the infamous tweet in spring 2019 when ABC renewed another season of the sitcom. “I was punished for being ungrateful,” she said. Wu publicly apologized, but she received backlash.
She then sought psychiatric help and quit social media for three years. Wu had started writing a book back in 2016 but had lost momentum.
In the fall of 2019, she went back to work at “Fresh Off the Boat”, the final season, where she apologized to her colleagues in person.
The next year, the world stopped due to the pandemic. And she finished the book she was writing. In her memoir, Wu talks about how she felt alone, how racism affected her career, and how she’s moving on.
“I try not to make myself out to be a hero,” Ms. Wu told NYT. “I try to make myself out to be a pretty normal person who has flaws like everybody else. I’m not really into the actor memoir where it’s like, ‘I overcame the odds, and I’m this person who was humble and just kept working. I was the victim.’ It’s less black and white than simply victim and perpetrator.”