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Constance Wu no need to apologize

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***Content Warning: This post discusses suicide and suicidal feelings.***

Back in May 2019, Constance Wu commented “disliked” on Instagram and tweeted her disappointment at the renewal of another season of her ABC family sitcom. Fresh off the boat (FOTB). As a fan of her talent, but not the show’s script (and especially its creator Eddie Huang), I sympathized with her. In addition to Wu finding her place through success crazy rich asians (2018) and Hustlers (2019), she had to drop another project because ABC greenlit a sixth season FOTB. While I saw some people get pissed off at her disappointment, I didn’t realize just how bad things were until Wu wrote a recent tweet where she revealed that the backlash from her own community drove her to suicide.

In the post, she calls the tweets “sloppy” and says the tipping point for her came when another Asian actress told her:[she’d] be a disaster for the Asian American community.” Wu said she believes “I was a disgrace to AsAms and they would be better off without me.” She talked about the suicide attempt and how one person helped save her life. Wu goes on to say that she has spent the past three years working on her mental health and has written an essay for an upcoming book about how this wasn’t the first time she’s been told she takes up too much space.

Making the scene Constance Wu.  Image: Scribner Book Company.
(Scribner Book Company)

In an article for Playboy A week after Wu’s tweets in 2019, Rosylne Talusan tweeted about how Constance Wu’s personality was being narrowed down and how Wu refuses to be the “submissive” Asian woman society expects her to be. Talusan also reflected on her own experience with this toxic stereotype. As women of color on the internet, we are more likely to be criticized. how we say something and than what we say or why we say it. There is also added weight for Wu as she is one of the very few Asian American celebrities and is unfairly becoming the de facto face of the community for millions of non-Asian Americans. Even before its box office success, FOTB was a primetime family sitcom on a major network.

Talusan also noted that these were not just random people on the Internet, but at least one Asian American cultural critic (Yashar Ali) said it was not surprising because there were rumors that she was “ungrateful”. I saw many people lose sight of the fact that race and gender were factors at this point of attack as the internet cluttered up. This is despite how many times she mentioned that the worst part is the Asian American peers in entertainment. Wu pointed out

While we are quick to celebrate wins in representation, many in our community avoid the more vexing problems. Even my tweets became such a sensitive topic that most of my Asian American colleagues decided what it was time to avoid me or freeze me.

Emphasizing this is not at all a way to downplay the participation of everyone else. All participants, including platforms that lack the tools to help block this, share this burden.

Asian American Mental Health

According to American Physiological AssociationAsian American women born in the US have a higher rate of suicidal ideation than the general US population. They didn’t give any one specific reason, but what is a common problem for Asian Americans (regardless of their origin) is the pressure to adhere to the “model myth of minorities.” Part of the reason this was created was to pit blacks/Hispanics against Asian Americans despite the fact that we have more in common than differences.

Something about this myth (regardless of gender) is that success is expected and you can’t disagree with the real obstacles that get in your way. Even before disappearing for several years, Wu regularly spoke about sexism, racism and more. She even spoke openly about how it got her into trouble. Wu has everything to lose by speaking openly and nothing to gain.

Every month, at least one or two big stories show that no one is ready to listen to what women say, especially if it goes against or can lead to consequences for a man. Wu was a strong advocate (albeit sometimes poorly worded) of diversity and representation in Hollywood. You can’t applaud this one second and then tell her that she should be grateful for what she has earned the next.

If you have suicidal thoughts, please use the Suicide Helpline: 988 (new number). You can also text “POWER” to the emergency services at 741-741 or chat here.

(via Twitter, featured image: John Kopaloff/Getty Images)

—Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that prohibits but is not limited to personal insults to anyonehate speech and trolling.—

Is there any advice we should know? [email protected]


#Constance #apologize

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