“Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu opens up about mental health struggles

Actress Constance Wu returned to social media Thursday after an almost three year absence, opening up about her struggles with online bullying and the affect it had on her mental health. Wu said that backlash from a “careless” post she made on Twitter about her show’s renewal resulted in her attempting to take her own life. 

In 2019, the ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” in which Wu starred, was renewed for another season. The actress, who later said she was upset because the renewal meant she would have to turn down a passion project, tweeted, “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F—-” and “F—ing hell.” 

Wu’s tweets received heavy backlash from fans of the show, which was lauded at the time for its Asian-American representation. 

“I was afraid of coming back on social media because I almost lost my life from it: 3 years ago, when I made careless tweets about the renewal of my TV show, it ignited outrage and internet shaming that got pretty severe,” Wu said in a Twitter statement Thursday. “I felt awful about what I’d said, and when a few DMs from a fellow Asian actress told me I’d become a blight on the Asian American community, I started feeling like I didn’t even deserve to live anymore. That I was a disgrace to AsAms, and they’d be better off without me. Looking back, it’s surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that’s what happened. Luckily, a friend found me and rushed me to the ER.”

Wu said that the experience, which she called a “scary moment,” caused her to reassess a lot in her life, and that many Asian Americans in the acting community iced her out or avoided her. The actress added that she put her career aside to focus on her mental health. 

The 24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards
The cast and crew of Crazy Rich Asians Michael Kovac

Now, the “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Hustlers” star is releasing a book called “Making a Scene,” in which she says she will share her story in the hopes that it will encourage other to speak and “open pathways to healing.”

“AsAms don’t talk about mental health enough,” Wu wrote Thursday. “While we’re quick to celebrate representation wins, there’s a lot of avoidance around the more uncomfortable issues within our community. Even though I’m scared, I’ve decided that I owe it to the me-of-3-years-ago to be brave and share my story so that it might help someone with theirs.”

For immediate help if you are in a crisis in the U.S., call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential.