Constance Wu is opening up about being mocked in public for her controversial tweets. On the latest episode of “Red Table Talk”, the 40-year-old actress claimed that, at the 2019 Unforgettable Gala, which came months after she nearly attempted suicide, she was mocked by host Simu Liu for her tweets bemoaning the renewal of “Fresh Off the Boat”.
ET has reached out to Character Media, who put on the gala, and Liu’s rep. Wu said on “Red Table Talk” that the event’s organizers were not aware of her near suicide attempt at the time, and added that Liu offered her “a sincere apology” after the alleged incident.
“I have been punished and mocked,” Wu said of the backlash to her tweets. “There was an event several months later… they do this gala every year for Asians and they wanted me to come, ’cause they wanted to celebrate the show and the kids on the show.”
Wu was hesitant to attend the event — where “FOTB” was being honoured with the Lexus Legacy Award, which recognizes the Asian and Pacific Islander leaders who have fought for API presence in the arts, entertainment and culture — because there was “so much controversy” around her at the time.
“If I go, people are just going to want to talk about the tweets. I love my kids on the show so much. I want this to be a moment for them to celebrate,” she recalled saying at the time. “Also, I told them, ‘I don’t want anybody to make fun of it, because I’m still in a very raw place about it. I’m not ready to be mocked for it.'”
“They didn’t know I had a suicide attempt, but I expressed that I can’t deal with that,” Wu continued. “They promised me. They said, ‘No, no, no. We love Constance! It’ll only be warm energy and positive vibes towards her.’ So I was like, ‘OK. OK. I’ll go.'”
When she arrived, Wu claimed she was seated “in the front row and had all these cameras on me.”
“Within 10 minutes, the host of the show made a crack at me,” Wu alleged of Liu. “I was sitting there alone, trying not to cry in a public setting. The whole audience was like, ‘Ohh, s**t!'”
While video of the moment doesn’t appear to be available online, at the time, Deadline reported that, during his opening monologue, Liu “took a playful jab” at Wu “that referenced her much talked-about reaction to the ABC sitcom being renewed.” The outlet also noted that “the joke received a lot of raised eyebrows and ‘oooooohs’ from the audience.”
“They had promised they wouldn’t mock me, and they did it right off the bat,” Wu alleged. “It almost felt like they were setting me up for it. It truly felt like a betrayal from the Asian American community. A couple months prior to that, I was in the emergency room.”
Afterwards, Wu said that Liu “did the right thing and he apologized,” adding that “it was a sincere apology.”
Wu’s interview came amid the release of her memoir, Making a Scene, in which she goes in depth about her controversial tweets and the ensuing scandal. That backlash included a DM from a former co-star that said in part “that nothing I could ever do would make up for my atrocious behavior and disgusting ingratitude,” Wu writes.
“That’s how I ended up clutching the balcony railing of my fifth-floor apartment and staring wildly down at the NYC street below with a reckless despair so total that my body ceased being a body and became a sound so dangerously high-pitched it was like nails on a chalkboard or a violin string pulled tight enough to cut flesh,” Wu writes. “The sound coursed through me and out of my fingertips like electricity as I started pulling myself over the railing.”
A friend “pried” Wu from the balcony edge and took her to the psychiatric ER of a mental hospital. The whole experience, Wu writes, “made me finally get help.”
When ET spoke with the actress at the premiere of her latest film, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile”, she opened up about writing her memoir.
“I write about a lot of different things and somebody just asking ‘How are you?’ or ‘Are you OK?’ is really important,” she said. “I think a big theme… is how hard healing is, and how kids have big emotions, and you need to let them express it, and find a way to deal with it. That’s one of the overarching themes [of the book], which I think this movie is about as well.”
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