Actor Constance Wu opened up about her suicide attempt in a tearful conversation on Jada Pinkett Smith’s show “Red Table Talk,” divulging what led to the incident.
In the interview, released on Oct. 5, Wu went into detail about her experience as the matriarch in ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” which included alleged sexual assault by a producer, online backlash for speaking about the show’s renewal and her suicide attempt in 2019.
Wu said messages from another Asian American actor calling her a “blight on the Asian American community” amid the backlash she received for tweeting her disdain for the season six renewal were “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“I read these DMs from an Asian actress, somebody who should have been my ally. And I felt like nothing I could ever do would be enough,” she said in the interview. “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.”
In her new book, “Making a Scene,” Wu recounted how she climbed up to the ledge of her fifth floor New York City apartment building with a blanket after reading those DMs with the plan to jump. She said a friend came to check on her, climbed over the ledge and took her to a psychiatric emergency room.
She said she began seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist every day for a while after the incident. “I needed it. I was unsafe at that point,” she said.
Wu, 40, said people were canceling her for being “ungrateful and ungraceful.”
She told the Smiths that online users said she was being a diva and selfish for not considering the jobs of everyone on the show.
“What people didn’t realize was that during my first couple years on ‘Fresh Off the Boat,’ I was sexually harassed and I was intimidated and I was threatened all the time,” she said.
Wu said she felt like she couldn’t speak up about the harassment.
“The thing that was most painful was, he was so derogatory and harassing towards me but because this show was sort of a beacon of representation for Asian Americans and I sort of became a symbol of representation, I didn’t want to sully the one show with sexual harassment claims,” she said.
ABC did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
Nadia Kim, a professor of sociology and of Asian and Asian American studies at Loyola Marymount University, said on the panel that the lack of Asian American representation makes it harder.
“Because there are so few Asian American stars, there is incredible pressure put on these actors, like Constance Wu, to be perfect,” she said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.