Constance Wu is speaking about a dark period in her life.
The actress appeared on the latest episode of “Red Table Talk” after releasing her memoir Making A Scene, in which she wrote about her isolation from the public.
Wu faced backlash in 2019 after tweeting in disappointment following the sixth-season renewal of her sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat”. She tweeted at the time, “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. Fuck,” which she later explained as being a result of missing out on other opportunities due to the commitment.
But in a recent interview with The Atlantic, she revealed it was also related to trauma from alleged sexual harassment from a producer on the show.
“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,” she explained and added in the “RTT” episode that she wanted a “clean slate that didn’t hold so many memories of intimidation and fear.”
Without that background knowledge, she faced intense backlash from the Asian-American entertainment community for her “ungrateful” response for the success of the show.
She received DMs from a fellow Asian-American actress who wrote, “Nothing you could ever do would make up for your atrocious behavior and disgusting ingratitude. You sullied the one shining beacon of hope for Asian Americans. You’ve become a blight on the Asian-American community.”
Reflecting on that moment, Wu said it drove her into a dark mindset.
“I read these DMs from an Asian actress, somebody who should have been my ally,” she shared. “And I felt like nothing I could ever do would be enough. I felt like the only thing that would prove to her that I felt as bad as she thought I deserved to feel would be if I died.”
She continued, “I felt like even that might not be enough because I felt like the world was saying, ‘You will never suffer as much as you deserve to suffer. You deserve to pay for this and be punished for this.'”
One night she climbed over the railing of her fifth-story apartment in New York City, but was interrupted by a friend who came looking for her.
“A friend who had come to check on me pulled me over from climbing over the ledge and dragged me into the elevator and took me into a cab and took me to a psychiatric emergency room where they checked me in and I slept the night on a cot in the waiting room in the psychiatric E.R. in New York City under observation.” she recalled.
After realizing she needed help, the 40-year-old actress sought out mental health professionals to receive daily treatment.
“I needed it. I was unsafe at that point,” she said. “I was in a mental place of just beating myself up and so much shame. Feeling like I didn’t deserve to live, feeling like the world hated me, feeling like I’d ruined everything for everyone. And maybe I did for some people, but people make mistakes, right?”
Despite her attempts to rehabilitate herself and her image, she still felt betrayed by the Asian-American community who initially supported her.
The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment invited her to a gala months after her attempted suicide and promised it would be “warm energy” and “positive vibes.”
“They sat me in the front row and had all these cameras on me, and within 10 minutes, the host of the show made a crack at me. And I was sitting there alone, trying not to cry in a public setting,” Wu recalled as she wiped away tears. “And the whole audience was like, ‘Ohh, s**t.’ They had promised they wouldn’t mock me, and they did it right off the bat. It almost felt like they were setting me up for it. It truly felt like a betrayal from the Asian American community.”
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.