Ahead of the release of her upcoming memoir Making a Scene, the 40-year-old actress told the New York Times that she spent years being sexually harassed by a senior member of the show's production team, who also allegedly tried to insert himself into her life and control several aspects of her career.
According to Wu, the harassment started in 2015 while she was filming the first season of Fresh Off the Boat, which was her first-ever television show. And as she explained, this meant she initially viewed the man — who is only referred to in the book by an initial — as a much-needed friend and mentor, given that she was relatively green.
“I was thrown into this world. I don’t have parents in the industry. And because I was 30, people thought I knew what I was doing," she told the publication. "It made me paranoid and embarrassed.”
However, their dynamic began to change during their time working together, as the producer allegedly began doing things like telling her how to dress, demanding she send him selfies and making her ask for approval on any potential business endeavors. She also reportedly writes about a specific instance in which the man coerced her into accompanying him to a Lakers game, where he allegedly touched her thigh and grazed her crotch.
The Crazy Rich Asians star then apparently goes on to say they had an argument about whether she would come with him to an Asian American film festival. The altercation — which supposedly happened during the filming of Fresh Off the Boat season two — caused the two to stop talking for a while, though Wu later said she continued to stay quiet out of fear during her panel at the Atlantic Festival on Friday, September 23.
“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 said. "Because, after the first two seasons, once it was a success, once I was no longer scared of losing my job, that’s when I was able to start saying ‘no’ to the harassment, ‘no’ to the intimidation, from this particular producer."
Wu added, "And, so I thought: ‘you know what? I handled it, nobody has to know, I don’t have to stain this Asian American producer’s reputation, I don’t have to stain the reputation of the show.’”
Representatives for Fresh Off the Boat and the show's production company, 20th Century Studios, have yet to comment on Wu's allegations. In the meantime, you can read her entire interview with the New York Times here.
Photo via Getty / Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic
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