Constance Wu has accused a senior producer from her hit sitcom Fresh Off The Boat of sexual harassment and intimidation.
Wu makes the revelation in her upcoming new memoir, Making A Scene, and again when she talked with the New York Times ahead of the release of the book.
While the actress discloses details about how the man exhibited controlling behaviors during the show’s first two seasons, she would only refer to the man by using an initial.
Serious allegations: Constance Wu, 40, maintains she was sexually harassed and intimidated by a senior producer while working on the ABC sitcom Fresh Off The Boat
Loosely inspired by the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and his 2013 autobiography, Fresh Off The Boat was the first network TV sitcom in the U.S. to feature a family of Asian Americans as main characters in over 20 years.
The show, which depicted a Taiwanese-American family living in Florida in the 1990s, went into production in 2014, and eventually premiered on ABC the following February to positive critical reception.
Wu maintains that producer started showing those controlling behaviors in the first season, which included ‘demanding that she run all her business matters past him and telling her what to wear.’
‘Fresh Off the Boat was my first-ever TV show,’ the actress told the Times, before explaining her mindset at the time. ‘I was thrown into this world. I don’t have parents in the industry. And because I was 30, people thought I knew what I was doing. It made me paranoid and embarrassed.’
Impactful: Loosely inspired by the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and his 2013 autobiography, Fresh Off The Boat was the first network TV sitcom in the U.S. to feature a family of Asian Americans as main characters in over 20 years; she is pictured on the right with co-stars Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Lucille Soong, Ian Chen and Forrest Wheeler
Wu, whose real-life parents emigrated from Taiwan, went on to reveal to the Times that the producer’s inappropriate behaviors escalated when they attended a sporting event and he allegedly ‘placed his hand on her thigh, his hand ultimately grazing her crotch.’
The actress confronted the man and asked him to stop, and eventually they both just tried to move on past the incident.
During her conversation with the New York Times, Wu revealed that she decided not to speak up about his controlling behaviors at the time due to fear of consequences, but as time went on and the show became a success she began to feel more empowered and comfortable about her status within the show.
By the time Wu and the man had an argument over attending a film festival together, they were no longer speaking with each other.
Allegations: The actress alleges the senior producer exhibited controlling behaviors during the first two seasons of the show, that eventually escalated to an incident where ‘he placed his hand on her thigh’ and his hand ‘ultimately grazed her crotch’
‘I kept my mouth shut for a really long time about a lot of sexual harassment and intimidation that I received the first two seasons of the show,’ the Virginia native said during a panel at the Atlantic Festival last Friday.
She explained, ‘Because, after the first two seasons, once it was a success, once I was no longer scared of losing my job, that’s when I was able to start saying “no” to the harassment, “no” to the intimidation, from this particular producer.’
Ultimately, she decided not to go public and identify the man to avoid ‘staining the reputation of the show.’
Fresh Off The Boat would go on to air for six seasons, ending in February 2020 after earning the distinction of being the first series featuring an all Asian American main cast to broadcast over 100 episodes.
Along with Wu, the series starred Randall Park, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler,, Ian Chen, Lucille Soong, Chelsey Crisp and Ray Wise, among others.
So far representatives for Fresh Off the Boat and 20th Television have not publicly responded to any of the accusations.
Wu initially kept quiet about the sexual harassment and intimidation accusations due to fear of consequences, like losing her job on the show; ultimately, she decided not to identify the man to avoid ‘staining the reputation of the show’; she is pictured with co-star Randall Park