There were a lot of cheers when Fresh Off the Boat began on ABC in February of 2015. After years of struggle of getting an Asian cast to star in their own sitcom, here was a show focusing on an immigrant Asian family.
Fast-forward to 2019 and co-star Constance Wu suddenly finds herself in a firestorm after reacting negatively to Fresh Off the Boat being renewed for an additional season. Wu found herself in an unfortunate place, as she had to lose out on a movie role to honor her obligations to the TV role that catapulted the actress into stardom.
Many saw Wu’s response as being ungrateful and selfish. Her discouraged reaction to another season was taken as ego out of control, though one could argue it really wasn’t when placed in the proper context.
Constance Wu apologized for her behavior
The aforementioned events occurred last May when ABC ordered a sixth season of Fresh Off the Boat. During a profane tweet tirade, Wu made it look like she didn’t care about the show and wanted time to do a movie instead.
Afterward, she apologized for her behavior and said it was only because the movie she wanted to do was a true passion project. Because of the shooting schedule for the sitcom, she couldn’t do both.
Many fans still turned on her, though, and insinuated is was ungrateful behavior for someone enjoying a hit TV series. It’s easy to see why Wu came off arrogant, but let’s step into Wu’s shoes for a minute: Despite Asian women making some headway in movies lately, there still aren’t nearly enough of them in leads.
No doubt Wu had this in mind when finding out she’d be able to star in a challenging movie role. What this project would have been still remains unknown, it is clear she would have thought her role of Jessica Huang in Fresh Off the Boat was a little too simple after becoming a bigger star thanks to Crazy Rich Asians.
The ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ cast knew she really wasn’t an egomaniac
Thankfully for Wu, the cast of Fresh Off the Boat forgave her diva-like Twitter rant and knew she was only looking out for her own career and not admonishing the cast. Executives on ABC, on the other hand, maybe weren’t quite so forgiving.
At the time of the incident, ABC said they had “no comment,” which is never a good sign. They might have remembered her social media rant when reconsidering renewing Fresh Off the Boat for yet another season this fall.
Let’s assume Wu is happy now that the show won’t be coming back next year. Whatever her previous passion project was has already been filled in with several big movie roles.
Wu said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last September she’s signed for two future sequels to Crazy Rich Asians. Plus, she has another movie adaptation on the horizon she’s executive producing and starring in called Goodbye, Vitamin.
Is Constance Wu’s film career paved in gold now?
After further good notices in recent Hustlers, Wu really is on a roll now when it comes to her movie career. There’s all possibility one of the above movies she’s signed on for was the project she realized would be delayed while filming Fresh Off the Boat.
If true, there was no harm done since her Jessica Huang character never resorted to stereotypes. Regardless, it was a sitcom, and Wu clearly wants to get into some serious cinematic dramas. An Asian woman being in that place should be celebrated because such a designation still has far more room to grow.
Wu’s earlier behavior now has more understanding behind it when placed within this framework. Her knowledge she’s helping future Asian actresses be able to do what she’s doing gives more credence for her behavior in wanting to advance herself without hurting the cast. Advancing one’s self for the sake of others to expand more Hollywood inclusiveness usually does demand a few profane tweets to get it done.
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