Constance Wu talked about the "betrayal" she felt at a 2019 event just months after she tweeted her disappointment at ABC renewing Fresh Off the Boat for a sixth season. During a stop on Red Table Talk, Wu said she tried not to cry as the event host, future Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu, joked about her tweets. Wu told the event's organizers she would only go if she was not the butt of jokes.
The event in question was the 2019 Unforgettable Gala, which Character Media organized to honor Asian American stars in the entertainment industry. The group honored the Fresh Off the Boat cast with the Lexus Legacy Award. Wu told Red Table Talk hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris that she did not want to go, but she still wanted to support Fresh Off the Boat's young cast.
“The World Hated Me” – Constance Wu Back from the Brink
“Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu vanished from the spotlight three years ago. Now, she’s at the Red Table for an emotional conversation about the unrelenting backlash from ‘careless tweets’ that nearly cost her her career… and her life. Constance reveals harrowing stories from being sexual harassed by her boss, a yearslong estrangement from her mother, and the devastating pain of being ostracized by her own community.Posted by Red Table Talk on Tuesday, October 4, 2022
"They wanted me to come 'cause they wanted to celebrate the show and the kids on the show," Wu said in the new episode, released on Facebook Watch Wednesday, notes E! News. "At that time, there was so much controversy around me that I was like, 'If I go, people are just gonna want to talk about the tweets, and like, I love my kids on the show so much. I want this to be a moment for them to celebrate.' I told them, 'I don't want anybody to make fun of it, 'cause I'm still in a very raw place about it. I'm not ready to be mocked for it.'"
The gala organizers "promised" Wu she would not be joked about. However, "within 10 minutes" of the show beginning, "the host" joked about her, she said, not referring to Liu by name. "I was sitting there, alone, trying not to cry in a public setting and the whole audience was like, 'Oh, s—,'" Wu recalled. "They had promised they wouldn't mock me, and they did it right off the bat. It almost felt like they were setting me up for it. And it truly felt like a betrayal from the Asian American community."
Since the ceremony was not broadcast, it is unknown what Liu's joke was. After the event, Deadline reported that Liu "took a playful jab" at Wu. The joke "received a lot of raised eyebrows and 'oooooohs' from the audience," the outlet reported at the time. After the event, Liu privately apologized to her, Wu said. "It was a sincere apology," she added. Liu has not commented on the situation. The jokes were made before Wu publicly disclosed in July that she attempted suicide in 2019.
Wu later took to her Instagram Story on Wednesday to correct a mistake she made in telling her story about the event. She accidentally said CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) hosted the event, which was incorrect. "I apologize to [CAPE] & regret the error," she wrote.
Wu recently published her memoir, Making a Scene, in which she wrote about the sexual harassment she faced on the Fresh Off the Boat set. She also wrote about her difficult relationship with her mother and why she did not report her rape at 22 years old. Wu also stars in Sony's new family movie, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, which opens on Friday, and Amazon Prime Video's The Terminal List.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available.