Constance Wu tweeted Thursday for the first time since her three-year break from social media, announcing her new book “Making a Scene” and revealing she attempted suicide after being harassed for her comments about the final season renewal of “Fresh Off the Boat” in 2019.
In her post, Wu writes: “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.”
When ABC announced the renewal of Wu’s hit family sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat” in 2019, the actor tweeted, “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F*ck” and “F*cking hell.” One user on Twitter congratulated Wu about the renewal saying “Great News,” to which she responded, “No it’s not.”
Wu apologized and clarified on Twitter the next day that she was “temporarily upset . . . not because I hate the show but [because] its renewal meant I had to give up another project that I was really passionate about.”
In her tweet today, she goes onto explain the circumstances surrounding her suicide attempt, writing: “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. 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.”
She concludes the statement by saying, “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 me-of-3-years-ago to be brave and share my story so that it might help someone with theirs.” She follows up the tweet with another sharing the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number.
Wu addressed some of her critics regarding her social media absence during her interview with NextShark for her latest project, the Amazon Prime action series “The Terminal List” starring Chris Pratt. When asked how she feels being an icon after having played the groundbreaking character of Jessica on “Fresh Off the Boat,” Wu said the idea of being an icon made her “uncomfortable.”
“I don’t see myself as an icon, and I generally don’t like to rank people. Gloria Steinem has this great quote about feminism where she says, ‘We are linked, not ranked.’ I think we need to lean into that idea to have a sense of community and solidarity and to lift everybody up. Everybody is a human of value and worth that can bring something to the world. I like to think of everybody in that way, and I like to think of me as linked or equal rather than ranked. Any type of thing that has to do with ranking somebody, it makes me uncomfortable because it’s very redundant to the human experience. We’re all just going through it and learning and processing and it’s not so final as, ‘You’re an icon and you’re not.’”
If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources. Starting Saturday, July 16, those in the United States can be routed to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling the three-digit code 988.
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