Constance Wu Opens Up About Suicide Attempt After ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Twitter Backlash

Constance Wu made her first appearance on social media in almost three years on Thursday to promote her new book, Making a Scene, and to discuss her attempt at suicide as a result of the hostility she received after a Twitter incident involving the renewal of Fresh Off the Boat in 2019. In May of that year, after ABC picked up the Asian-led sitcom for a sixth season, Wu expressed her anger and displeasure in a string of explicit tweets.

The 40-year-old actress posted a lengthy letter on Twitter explaining why she was afraid to return to social media. “I was afraid of coming back on social media because I almost lost my life from it: [Three] years ago, when I made careless tweets about the renewal of my TV show, it ignited outrage and internet shaming that got pretty severe,” she wrote. “I felt terrible about what I’d said, and after receiving a few direct messages from another Asian actress accusing me of defiling the Asian American community, I began to believe that I didn’t even deserve to live. That [Asian Americans] would be better off without me and that I was a shame to them. It seems unbelievable looking back that a few DMs managed to persuade me to commit suicide. Thankfully, a friend located me and took me straight to the ER.”

2019 saw the Crazy Rich Asians star at the heart of controversy after Fresh Off the Boat was renewed for a sixth season by ABC, which prompted Wu to tweet at the time: “I’m actually crying right now because I’m so sad. Ugh. F**k.” She replied with a second tweet that ended with “F**king hell.” Wu wrote, “No it’s not” in response to someone congratulating her on the “wonderful news” who had left a comment. Wu quickly emphasized that her tweets were the result of a “tough day,” “poor timed w/the news of the show,” and that she would have to abandon a project she was “passionate about” rather than being a reflection of her views regarding the sitcom’s renewal. Later, the actress expressed regret.

Wu said in the latest letter, “It was a scary moment that made me reevaluate a lot in my life. “I put my profession on hold for a while to concentrate on my mental health. Not enough AsAms discuss mental health. While we’re eager to applaud representational victories, our community tends to shy away from some of the most upsetting topics. Even my tweets became into such a sensitive topic that the majority of my AsAm colleagues decided it was best to avoid or ice me out. I’ll admit that hurt a lot, but it also taught me how crucial it is to reach out to and support those who are struggling.”

In her upcoming book, Wu says that the three years she spent away from the spotlight helped her gain perspective and gave her an outlet for putting her feelings and ideas down on paper. She hopes that this will “help people talk about the uncomfortable stuff in order to understand it, reckon with it, and open pathways to healing.”

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“If we want to be truly seen, we must let all of who we are to be seen, including the flaws that make us uncomfortable or ashamed—parts of ourselves that still need nurturing and care. And when we do, we need to stop criticizing one another (and ourselves),” she continued, saying that while her book may not be “the most favourable portrayal, it’s as honest as I can be.”

“I’m not graceful, poised, or faultless. I feel sensitive. I commit numerous errors.”

Wu, who is presently starring in The Terminal List on Amazon Prime Video, also disclosed that she had been to counseling while away and that she now feels “OK enough to venture back on [social media]” for at least a little while. She concluded her letter by saying, “Even though I’m terrified, I’ve decided that I owe it to the me-of-[three]-years ago to be bold and share my story in the hopes that it could assist someone with theirs.”

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