Constance Wu said that the senior member of Fresh Off the Boat‘s production team was a “friend and a protector” to her, till he sexually harassed her in 2015.
She was only confident about rejecting the producer once that show, which was her very first TV show, became a success.
Here’s what allegedly happened.
Tried to Control and Intimidate Her
In her upcoming memoir, Making a Scene, Wu shares how Fresh Off the Boat was her first TV show, and that she didn’t have any mentors in the industry.
Additionally, people thought she knew what she was doing back then, especially since she was 30 years old. This made her feel “paranoid and embarrassed”, so the mentorship of this producer made him feel like a protector to her.
She didn’t name the producer, but said that he behaved in a very controlling manner toward her. For instance, he told her to go through all her business decisions by him before finalising them, even though she wasn’t obliged to.
He also coerced Wu to attend a Lakers game with him, where he put his hand on her thigh and grazed her crotch. He then behaved coldly toward her when Wu told him to stop.
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After an argument where Wu decided not to attend an Asian American film festival with him, the two stopped talking.
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Didn’t Speak Up Due To Fear of Repercussions
Wu also shared how she only became confident to say “no” to this producer after the first two seasons of the sitcom became wildly successful. That was when she was “no longer scared of losing [her] job”.
During that time, she decided that nobody needed to know about this issue since she had it handled, and that she “don’t have to stain the reputation of the show”.
This was especially since Fresh Off the Boat was the first show with an Asian-American cast to run on TV in the past 20 years, and she didn’t want to “sully the reputation of the one show we had representing us”.
Although she initially refused to write about this in her memoir, she “eventually realised it was important to talk about” her traumatic experiences while filming the sitcom.
“The thing is, bad feelings don’t go away just because you will them to. They are inevitably going to come out somewhere.”
Representatives of the sitcom and 20th Television has not yet responded to the media’s request for comment.
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