Constance Wu is opening up about her time on Fresh Off the Boat and making allegations that she was sexually harassed by a senior producer of the 2015-20 ABC sitcom.
In an interview with The New York Times, Wu talks about an incident she details in her memoir Making a Scene where a producer she only refers to by an initial showed “controlling behaviors.”
“Fresh Off the Boat was my first-ever TV show. I was thrown into this world,” Wu told NYT. “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.”
Wu also revealed that during a sporting event in 2015, the producer touched her thigh and grazed her crotch. The Crazy Rich Asians actor also said there was another argument during the second season of Fresh Off the Boat over attending a film festival but by then, Wu felt empowered to cut ties with the producer in question.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Wu said she had not opened up about this situation in the past due to fear of consequences.
“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. “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 also talked about the infamous tweet in 2019 after learning ABC had renewed Fresh Off the Boat for another season.
“I wanted to have a fresh slate where I didn’t have to start a show with all these memories of abuse,” she told The Atlantic. “A few people knew [the harassment] 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 added. “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.”
A rep for 20th Television, which produced Fresh Off the Boat, had no comment.