Constance Wu has revealed she attempted suicide after a ‘fellow Asian actress’ told her she was a ‘blight’ on their community amid backlash over tweets she made about Fresh Off The Boat being renewed three years ago.
Wu made the revelation in a lengthy statement posted to her Twitter account as she returned to social media for the first time in nearly three years.
The star, 40, recalled the ‘severe’ criticism she received at the time of her tweets in 2019, and said she started to feel as though she didn’t ‘deserve to live anymore’ after allegedly receiving hurtful messages from the unidentified actress.
Constance Wu attempted suicide after facing ‘severe’ backlash from comments she made about Fresh Off The Boat being renewed; pictured January 2020
Wu said she was found by a friend after her suicide attempt and was rushed to the emergency room.
‘Hi everybody. I haven’t been on social media in almost 3 years. Tbh, I’m a little scared, but I’m dipping my toe back in to say I’m here and while I was gone I wrote a book called Making a Scene.
‘This next part is hard to talk about… but I was afraid of coming back on social media because I almost lost my life from it: 3 years ago, when I made careless tweets about the renewal of my TV show, it ignited outrage and internet shaming that got pretty severe.
‘I felt awful about what I’d said, and when a few DMs from a fellow Asian actress told me I’d become a blight on the Asian American community, I started feeling like I didn’t even deserve to live anymore.
‘That I was a disgrace to AsAms, and they’d be better off without me. Looking back, it’s surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that’s what happened. Luckily, a friend found me and rushed me to the ER.’
In her lengthy statement, Wu described the pain of being iced out by her fellow Asian American colleagues in light of the tweets, and how that ultimately taught her the importance of reaching out to others going through hard times.
Her book, Making a Scene, was inspired by her desire to help people.
‘It was a scary moment that made me reassess a lot in my life. For the next few years, I put my career aside to focus on my mental health. AsAms don’t talk about mental health enough. While we’re quick to celebrate representation wins, there’s a lot of avoidance around the more uncomfortable issues within our community.
Wu pictured on an episode of her hit ABC series Fresh Off The Boat
‘Even my tweets became a subject so touchy that most of my AsAm colleagues decided that was the time to avoid me or ice me out. I’ll admit it hurt a lot, but it also made me realize how important it is to reach out and care for people who are going through a hard time.
‘That’s why I wrote my book and why I’m here today – to reach out and help people talk about the uncomfortable stuff in order to understand it, reckon with it, and open pathways to healing.
‘If we want to be seen, really seen… we need to let all of ourselves be seen, including the parts we’re scared of or ashamed of – parts that, however imperfect, require care and attention. And we need to stop beating each other (and ourselves) up when we do.’
Wu said she decided to return to social media after her break from showbiz and undergoing ‘a lot of therapy.’
Wu was subjected to backlash in 2019 after posting several strongly-worded tweets about Fresh Off The Boat being renewed for a sixth season
‘So while my book is not always the most flattering portrayal, it’s as honest as I know how to be. Because the truth is, I’m not poised or graceful or perfect. I’m emotional. I make mistakes… lots of ’em!
‘After a little break from Hollywood and a lot of therapy I feel OK enough to venture back on here (at least for a little bit). And even though I’m scared, I’ve decided that I owe it to the me-of-3-years-ago to be brave and share my story so that it might help someone with theirs.’
Wu was subjected to backlash in 2019 after posting several strongly-worded tweets about Fresh Off The Boat being renewed for a sixth season.
‘So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh F***,’ she tweeted in May 2019.
Wu was upset over her hit ABC series Fresh Off The Boat being renewed for a sixth season
‘F***ing hell,’ she added.
Wu also told one fellow Twitter user, who congratulated her and said the renewal was ‘great news’, ‘No it’s not.’
She also wrote the phrase ‘dislike’ under a post on the show’s official Instagram page announcing the renewal.
Shortly after her emotional reaction Wu explained that her now-deleted tweets stemmed purely from being disappointed at missing out on another opportunity.
Wu tried to clear up the situation by saying she was disappointed because ‘I had to give up another project that I was really passionate about.’
Fresh Off The Boat followed hip-hop obsessed teen Eddie Huang (played by Hudson Yang) as he navigated his way through a family move from Washington DC to suburban Orlando, Florida during the height of the 90s
‘I love FOTB. I was temporarily upset yesterday not bc [sic] I hate the show but bc [sic] its renewal meant I had to give up another project that I was really passionate about. So my dismayed social media replies were more about that other project and not about FOTB,’ Wu tweeted.
‘I’ve gotten to fully explore my character and I know her like the back of my hand. So playing Jessica is fun and easy and pleasant. I get to work with a kind and pleasant cast/crew. Which makes it all quite enjoyable — so obviously I don’t dislike doing a show that is fun and easy and pleasant.
‘But in general, I’ve always sought artistic challenge over comfort and ease. I was disappointed in not being able to do that other project — because that other project would have challenged me as an artist — that other project would have been really hard and not easy or pleasant at all,’ she added.
However, many fans considered the damage was already done as Wu’s initial reaction came off ‘ungrateful’ and ‘spoiled’.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Constance admitted that her comments were a bit ‘dramatic,’ but that she was only emotional because the renewal conflicted with another project she was excited about.
‘I’m dramatic. I’m emotional. But they also know that that doesn’t represent me because they have a hundred episodes of behavior that proves otherwise,’ she said.
Fresh Off The Boat was ultimately cancelled after its sixth season in 2020.
It followed hip-hop obsessed teen Eddie Huang (played by Hudson Yang) as he navigated his way through a family move from Washington DC to suburban Orlando, Florida during the height of the 90s. The story is loosely adapted from chef Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name.
Wu played no-fuss mom Jessica while Randall Park acted as dad Louis, the more fun loving and impulsive half of the couple. Playing Eddie’s brothers were Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen while Lucille Soong starred as his grandmother.