Constance Wu Says She Was Sexually Harassed by 'Fresh Off the Boat' Producer

The 40-year-old actress addressed the alleged incident in her upcoming memoir, 'Making a Scene': 'I kept my mouth shut for a really long time.'

Constance Wu attends "The Terminal List" Los Angeles premiere

Image via Getty/Jon Kopaloff

Constance Wu attends "The Terminal List" Los Angeles premiere

Constance Wu has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations. 

According to the New York Times, the 40-year-old actress detailed the incidents in her upcoming memoir, Making a Scene. Wu said the sexual harassment began during the inaugural season of Fresh Off the Boat, the now-defunct sitcom in which she played fan-favorite matriarch Jessica Huang. Wu declined to reveal the perpetrator’s name, but said he was a senior member of the show’s production team.

Wu said the harassment started years before the #MeToo movement shook Hollywood. She claimed the producer had tried to control various aspects of her life, including how she dressed and what business ventures she pursued. Wu admitted she tried to see the producer as a “friend and protector,” as she was too afraid to push back on his demands. 

“‘Fresh Off the Boat’ was my first-ever TV show,” she wrote. “I was thrown into this world. 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 claimed that during a sporting event in 2015, the producer placed his hand on her thigh and grazed her crotch. 

“Aside from that basketball game, he never touched me inappropriately,” Wu wrote. “To be honest, it didn’t feel like a big deal at the time. I was fine. Happy, even! I was genuinely grateful for his support, and it made him feel good to protect me, too. It was a win-win situation where he was the helpful to my helpless. But to maintain that dynamic he needed me to be helpless. And for a while… I was.”

Wu said once the second season began filming, she felt much more empowered to stand up for herself. She stopped speaking to the producer after they had an explosive argument about whether he would accompany her to a film festival.

“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 Friday during a Friday appearance at the Atlantic Festival. “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.’”

ABC declined to comment on the allegations. 

Elsewhere in the book, Wu addresses the backlash she received over a 2019 tweetstorm.

“Fucking hell [...] So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. Fuck,” she wrote, after Fresh Off the Boat was renewed for a sixth season. 

Fans immediately criticized Wu for her reaction, accusing her of being selfish and ungrateful. Wu admitted her comments were “careless,” but the backlash was so severe she attempted suicide. 

“I had a public image that was not very much like myself. I’m not really that wholesome of a person,” Wu said. “I try not to make myself out to be a hero. I try to make myself out to be a pretty normal person who has flaws like everybody else. I’m not really into the actor memoir where it’s like, ‘I overcame the odds, and I’m this person who was humble and just kept working. I was the victim.’ It’s less black and white than simply victim and perpetrator.”

Making a Scene will drop Oct. 4.

Latest in Pop Culture