'Crazy Rich Asians' star Constance Wu said she attempted suicide after Twitter backlash


Constance Wu says “after a little break from Hollywood and a lot of therapy”, she feels prepared to step back into the public eye little by little. Photo: Handout

Constance Wu, known for her lead roles in Fresh Off The Boat and Crazy Rich Asians, said she attempted suicide three years ago after receiving backlash for tweets she wrote about the hit TV show.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Wu said she was making her return to social media after a three-year hiatus, during which she wrote an autobiographical book, Making A Scene.

“I was afraid of coming back on social media because I almost lost my life from it,” Wu said. “3 years ago, when I made careless tweets about the renewal of my TV show, it ignited outrage and internet shaming that got pretty severe.”

The tweets in question were published in 2019, after it was announced that the ABC sitcom Fresh Off The Boat was renewed for another season, Variety reported.

Wu, who plays family matriarch Jessica Huang on the show about a Taiwanese American family living in Florida in the 1990s, expressed some frustration about the show’s continuation.

“So upset right now that I’m literally crying,” Wu wrote, according to Variety. “Ugh. F—” and “F— hell.”

When a Twitter user said the show’s renewal was “great news”, Wu responded, saying “No it’s not”, according to Variety.

Wu later apologised for the comments and clarified them, saying that she loved the show, but would be forced to give up a project that she was “really passionate about” in order to keep playing her role, Buzzfeed reported in 2019.

“So my dismayed social media replies were more about that other project and not about FOTB,” she said, according to Buzzfeed.

But Wu opened up even more about the incident in her Twitter statement, saying that she “felt awful” about what she said.

“When a few DMs from a fellow Asian actress told me I’d become a blight on the Asian American community, I started feeling like I didn’t even deserve to live anymore,” Wu confessed. “That I was a disgrace to [Asian Americans], and they’d be better off without me.”

“Looking back, it’s surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that’s what happened,” Wu said. “Luckily, a friend found me and rushed me to the ER.”

Wu said it was a “scary moment” that made her “reassess a lot” and focus on her mental health. It can be especially difficult to be frank about mental health in the Asian American community, Wu added.

“While we’re quick to celebrate representation wins, there’s a lot of avoidance around the more uncomfortable issues within our community,” Wu wrote, adding that many of her Asian American colleagues “decided that was the time to avoid me or ice me out.”

“I’ll admit it hurt a lot, but it also made me realize how important it is to reach out and care for people who are going through a hard time,” Wu added.

Toward the end of her statement, Wu shared that “after a little break from Hollywood and a lot of therapy”, she feels prepared to step back into the public eye little by little.

“Even though I’m scared, I’ve decided that I owe it to the me-of-3-years-ago to be brave and share my story so that it might help someone with theirs,” Wu concluded.

Twitter users quickly expressed support for Wu, saying they can relate to her struggles with mental health and the pressure she felt to keep quiet about them.

Some users also pointed out that other actors have expressed dissatisfaction with past roles and not received backlash for it.

Wu, 40, who was born to Taiwanese immigrant parents in Virginia, had a breakout film role in Crazy Rich Asians in 2018 and another lead role in the film Hustlers in 2019. She currently appears in the “The Terminal List” series on Amazon Prime Video. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

Those suffering from mental health issues or contemplating suicide can reach out to the Mental Health Psychosocial Support Service (03-2935 9935/ 014-322 3392); Talian Kasih (15999/ 019-261 5999 on WhatsApp); Jakim’s (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) family, social and community care centre (0111-959 8214 on WhatsApp); and Befrienders Kuala Lumpur (03-7627 2929 or go to The Befrienders for a full list of numbers nationwide and operating hours, or email sam@befrienders.org.my).

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