Here’s what to know: Constance Wu said she faced sexual harassment on Fresh Off the Boat sets, but kept silent about it because the sitcom was historic for Asian Americans. She said she decided to keep silent about it because she did not want her revelations to destroy the show’s reputation.
Here’s the background: The ABC Comedy, which also starred Randall Park, depicted the life of a Taiwanese-American family in Florida in the 1990s. Airing for six seasons from 2015 to 2020, it became the first series featuring an all-Asian American main cast to broadcast over 100 episodes. Constance Wu said the show was historic for Asian Americans, which was the reason she kept silent about the intimidation and harassment for so many years.
During an appearance on stage at the Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C, the actor shared that she has mentioned the incidents in her upcoming memoir, Making a Scene. She said, “I was pretty resistant to write it… I eventually realised it was important to talk about it, because I did have a pretty traumatic experience during my first couple of years on Fresh Off the Boat. That show was historic for Asian Americans. It was the only show on network television in over 20 years to star Asian Americans and I did not want to sully the reputation of the one show we had representing us.”
On why she didn’t come forward: Wu said, “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. Because, after the first two seasons, once it was a success, once I was no longer scared of losing my job, that’s when I was able to start saying ‘no’ to the harassment, ‘no’ to the intimidation, from this particular producer. And, so I 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.’”
On Monday’s Late Night With Seth Meyers, Constance Wu revealed why she finally decided to open up about being sexually harassed on her hit series Fresh Off the Boat. Wu made the shocking revelation in her new book of essays, Making a Scene.
“To be honest, I didn’t want to write about that,” said Wu. “That was the last essay I wrote for the book, and only after being, like, pushed by my editor, like, ‘You should write about this. This is what people want to hear.’ And I was like, ‘I’m done with that chapter in my life.’”
“You know, the thing I learned is that bad feelings and abuse don’t just go away because you will it to,” Wu said. “It’s going to come out somewhere. And so I think people didn’t understand the context of those tweets.”
Wu decided to come forward with her story because it might help someone else dealing with trauma.
“I think it’s important that we engage in curiosity and empathy before we go straight to judgment,” she said. “Because if somebody does something out of character for them, usually it means something’s going on in their life.”
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