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Constance Wu Doesn’t Need To Apologize


LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 22: Constance Wu attends "Terminal list" The Los Angeles premiere took place on June 22, 2022 at the DGA Theater Complex in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

***Content Warning: This article discusses suicide and the feeling of suicide.***

Back in May 2019, Constance Wu commented “dislike” on Instagram and tweeted about her frustration with another season renewal of her ABC family sitcom just disembarked (FOTB). As a fan of her talent, not the show’s writing (especially not its creator, Eddie Huang), I feel for her.Except for Wu to open up space for himself with success crazy rich asians (2018) and fraud (2019), she had to drop another project as ABC gave the green light for season six. FOTB. While I did see some people outraged at her frustration, I didn’t realize how bad it was until Wu’s recent tweet, in which she recounted how backlash from her own community led her to take her own life.

In the post, she called the tweets “careless” and said her turning point came after another Asian actress told her “[she’d] Be the scourge of the Asian American community. Wu said she felt “I am a disgrace to AsAms and they would be better off without me.” She opened up about trying to kill herself and how one person reaching out helped save her life. Wu continued, saying she has been researching her mental health for the past three years and has written articles for an upcoming book, Explain that this moment isn’t the first time she’s been told she’s taking up too much space.

Constance Wu makes a scene. Image: Scribner Books.
(Scribner Books)

in an article playboy A week after Wu’s 2019 tweet, Rosyln Talusan wrote about Constance Wu’s identity being crammed into a narrow box and how Wu refused to be the “submissive” Asian women’s society expects of her. Talusan also reflects on her own experience with this toxic stereotype.As women of color speaking out online, we are more likely to be criticized how We say something, not what we say or why we say it. It also adds weight to Wu as one of very few Asian American female celebrities, and unjustly being the de facto face of the non-Asian American community for millions. Even before her box office success, FOTB is a prime-time family sitcom on the major networks.

Talusan also points out that it’s not just random people online, but at least one Asian American cultural critic (Yasha Ali) said it was no surprise, given that she was rumored to be “ungrateful”. I see a lot of people gloss over the fact that race and gender are a factor in this attack point because it’s a whole lot on the internet. This, though she’s mentioned multiple times that the worst part is the Asian American peers in the entertainment industry. Wu pointed out,

While we were quick to celebrate the delegate win, there was a lot of sidestepping around more troubling issues in our community.Even my tweets became such a touchy subject that most of my Asian American colleagues decided That Time to avoid me or freeze me.

Emphasizing this is not at all a way to downplay everyone else’s involvement. Everyone involved, including platforms that lack tools to help stop this, shares in that.

Asian American Mental Health

according to American Physiological Society, U.S.-born Asian-American women have a higher rate of suicidal ideation than the U.S. general population. They don’t point to a particular reason, but a common problem with Asian Americans (regardless of background) is the pressure to cling to the model minority myth. Part of the reason this was created was to pit Black/Latin people against Asian Americans, even though we have more in common.

What this myth brings about (regardless of gender) is that success is expected and you can’t dispute the real obstacles that stand in your way. Even years before disappearing, Wu often spoke of sexism, racism, and more. She’s even open about how this got her into trouble. Wu lost everything in his speech and gained nothing.

At least one or two big stories a month show that no one wants to listen to what a woman has to say, especially if it goes against the rules or could have consequences for men. Wu has been a vocal (albeit sometimes poorly worded) advocate for diversity and representation in Hollywood. You can’t applaud that second and then tell her that she needs to thank her for what she has the next.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a great resource: 988 (new number). You can also text “STRENGTH” in the crisis text line at 741-741 or chat here.

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

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