Actor Constance Wu is speaking out about sexual harassment she endured during the early seasons of the ABC sitcom she starred in, Fresh Off the Boat.
Wu spoke of the experience during a recent appearance at The Atlantic Festival in Washington, DC, revealing the extensive harassment and intimidation she received during the show's first two seasons.
Wu said she "kept [her] mouth shut for a really long time," fearing reprisal from the producer who victimized her if she spoke up.
Constance Wu Says She Faced Sexual Harassment on Fresh Off the Boat | E! News youtu.be
Speaking to The Atlantic Festival audience, 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.'"
Wu detailed the experience and many others from her often tumultuous tenure on Fresh Off the Boat in a new memoir out next week titled Making a Scene.
She said it was her publisher Simon & Schuster that encouraged her to speak out about the experience.
"...I eventually realized it was important to talk about, because I did have a pretty traumatic experience in my first couple years on that show, and nobody knew about it."
"Because that show was historic for Asian Americans. And 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 Twitter, many applauded Wu for coming forward and expressed dismay at the harassment she experienced.
\u201cThe hate Constance Wu was subjected to for not rejoicing at the renewal of the show was disgusting. It is horrible she was subjected to sexual harassment and that this industry continuously puts actresses (especially marginalized ones) in positions where they are harmed.\u201d— Farrah Khan (@Farrah Khan) 1664117943
\u201cThe more I think about what @ConstanceWu experienced in this incident, the more I think the issues it touches on could span a multidisciplinary PhD thesis\n\nRace, gender, mental health, Hollywood, representation, tokenism, sexual harassment, & capitalism just of the top of my head\u201d— Quiet Part Quiet (@Quiet Part Quiet) 1663997225
\u201cI'm angry about what happened to @ConstanceWu. Harassment thrives on intimidation + humiliation. Good people calling out this behavior takes away his power! Shame on those who saw something but said nothing. Thank you, Constance, for your courage!\u201d— Mitze \ud83e\udd8b\ud83c\udf3b (@Mitze \ud83e\udd8b\ud83c\udf3b) 1664033637
\u201cConstance Wu is finally sharing her experiences of sexual harassment and intimidation by a senior production member while working on the show Fresh Off The Boat. This really puts that tweetstorm of '19 into perspective! #MeToo\u201d— YellowStoneDragon \ud83c\udf08 (@YellowStoneDragon \ud83c\udf08) 1664250537
\u201c@RollingStone Keep talking Constance! This needs to be out in the public so other young girls & men understand the mental rape that occurs & help stop it!\u201d— Rolling Stone (@Rolling Stone) 1664008805
\u201c@THR Good, It\u2019s time to heal and let people know that they can\u2019t get away with sexual harassment.\u201d— The Hollywood Reporter (@The Hollywood Reporter) 1663969573
\u201c@THR And y\u2019all bullied her for being upset the show didn\u2019t get canceled calling her ungrateful and a b. Smh \n\nhttps://t.co/20F2bIVc9y\u201d— The Hollywood Reporter (@The Hollywood Reporter) 1663969573
\u201cThis makes the way she was villianized for wanting to be free of that show sooooooooo much worse\u201d— Nsafoa's Feminist Duck \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@Nsafoa's Feminist Duck \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1663972389
\u201cSpeaking out like this has heavy costs for actors and it's very brave\u201d— Frankie Huang \u9ec4\u78a7\u8d64 \ud83d\udea6 (@Frankie Huang \u9ec4\u78a7\u8d64 \ud83d\udea6) 1663975728
Wu has previously spoken out about how difficult her time on Fresh Off the Boat was, especially following an infamous 2019 tweet thread in which she expressed dismay the show was renewed because it precluded her appearing in a film.
The intense and abusive backlash to the tweet made her a pariah for a time, a harrowing experience she detailed earlier this year.