Constance Wu is speaking out about her experience on Fresh Off the Boat, alleging sexual harassment by a top producer on the 2015-20 ABC sitcom. According to the New York Times, the actress, 40, only alludes to the employee by an initial in Making a Scene.
According to the New York Times, Wu also claims that during the show’s first season in 2015, the guy exhibited controlling characteristics such as “demanding that she pass all her business concerns through him and directing her what to wear.” Wu also revealed that the producer groped her thigh and touched her crotch during a sporting event in 2015.
Constance Wu’s statement on her sexual harassment
In an interview with The New York Times, Wu discusses an event described in her novel Making a Scene, in which a producer identified only by an initial displayed “controlling behaviors.”
“‘Fresh Off the Boat’ was my first TV show ever.” “I was thrown into this world,” Wu told the New York Times. “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.”
I had a pretty traumatic experience my first couple of years on 'Fresh Off the Boat,' @ConstanceWu says at #TAF22. “That show was historic for Asian Americans … and I did not want to sully the reputation of the one show we had representing us. So I kept my mouth shut.” pic.twitter.com/fR4KJyYoKm
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) September 23, 2022
“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 on Friday at the Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C.
“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.’”
Constance Wu described the event as “traumatic.” The actress, who most recently co-starred in Amazon’s The Terminal List with Chris Pratt, agreed to the interview on the eve of the release of her memoir, Making a Scene, on October 4 from Simon & Schuster. She stated that the publisher encouraged her to write about her experiences on the sitcom, but she was hesitant because of how it would have been viewed.
Constance Wu on her suicidal thoughts
Wu claims that the producer frequently made obscene comments or jokes, which she would dismiss, and that he frequently asked her for pictures late at night.
“I eventually realized it was important to talk about,” Wu added. “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.”
During her presentation, Wu also addressed the issue surrounding her tweets lamenting the show’s renewal. “I wanted to have a fresh slate where I didn’t have to start a show with all these memories of abuse. A few people knew [the harrasment] was happening, and to go to work every day and see those people who knew that he was sexually harassing me being ‘buddy-buddy’ with him felt like a betrayal every time,” she continued. “I loved everybody on that crew, and I loved working on that show, but it had that history of abuse, that it started with, and even though I handled it after two years, I was looking forward to a clean slate.”
Constance Wu went on to say that her upcoming biography is “not always the most flattering portrayal” of herself. However, she emphasized that it is “as honest as I know how to be.”
Wu also explains and apologizes for her reaction to the Fresh Off the Boat season 5 renewal, noting that her outburst was caused by her own experience on set, not by ingratitude. And she discusses committing suicide in the aftermath of the hostility she received over the tweets.
Making a Scene will be available in stores on October 4th.