Crazy Rich Asians actress Constance Wu returned to social media this afternoon to share how she spent the last three years away from the spotlight—and how the backlash she received for her comments about her show Fresh Off the Boat almost cost her her life. In 2019, Wu had tweeted about being upset that the show was renewed because she wasn’t able to take on another project she had wanted to do at the time.
Wu shared a candid statement today, explaining she became suicidal after receiving “a few DMs from a fellow Asian actress [who] told me I’d become a blight on the Asian American community.” Wu thankfully received help, and the experience led her to prioritize her mental health and ultimately share her story in the hopes of making a difference for others.
“AsAms don’t talk about mental health enough,” she wrote. “While we’re quick to celebrate representation wins, there’s a lot of avoidance around the more uncomfortable issues within our community. Even my tweets became a subject so touchy that most of my AsAm 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’s memoir, Making a Scene, comes out October 4. In a second tweet, Wu shared suicide hotline information, writing, “If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text ‘STRENGTH’ to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to 988lifeline.org.”
You can read her full statement below:
Hi everybody. I haven’t been on social media in almost 3 years. Tbh, I’m a little scared, but I’m dipping my toe back in to say I’m here and while I was gone I wrote a book called Making a Scene. This next part is hard to talk about…but I was afraid of coming back on social media because I almost lost my life from it: 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. I felt awful about what I’d said, and 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. That I was a disgrace to AsAms, 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. Luckily, a friend found me and rushed me to the ER.
It was a scary moment that made me reassess a lot in my life. For the next few years, I put my career aside to focus on my mental health. AsAms don’t talk about mental health enough. While we’re quick to celebrate representation wins, there’s a lot of avoidance around the more uncomfortable issues within our community. Even my tweets became a subject so touchy that most of my AsAm 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.
That’s why I wrote my book and why I’m here today—to reach out and help people talk about the uncomfortable stuff in order to understand it, reckon with it, and open pathways to healing. If we want to be seen, really seen…we need to let all of ourselves be seen, including the parts we’re scared of or ashamed of—parts that, however imperfect, require care and attention. And we need to stop beating each other (and ourselves) up when we do. So while my book is not always the most flattering portrayal, it’s as honest as I know how to be. Because the truth is, I’m not poised or graceful or perfect. I’m emotional. I make mistakes…lots of 'em.
After a little break from Hollywood and a lot of therapy, I feel ok enough to venture back on here (at least for a little bit). And 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.