Fresh Off the Boat Controversy: ABC Boss Weighs In on Recast Option in Wake of Constance Wu's Job Conflict
ABC on Tuesday formally responded to the recent imbroglio involving Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu, insisting there are no plans to recast the role of Jessica Huang.
Even in the name of “perfect harmony” for all involved, “Therehave been no thoughts of recasting Constance. We love what she does on the show, and we love the show,” Karey Burke, president of entertainment at ABC, told TVLine during an Upfronts press briefing. “I did know that she had another opportunity that, had Fresh Off the Boat not gone forward, she would have pursued. But we never really considered not bringing the show back. It’s just too strong for us.”
Burke added that she is “going to choose to believe Constance’s most recent communications about the show” and its renewal, reiterating that Wu is “happy to return” to the sitcom.
“The cast and crew is happy to have her back, and we’re thrilled to have her on the show,” she continued.
The controversy began on May 10, when Wu posted angry tweets just a few minutes after Fresh Off the Boat was picked up for a sixth season. “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F—k,” she wrote, following that up with a tweet that read, “F—king hell.” And if there was any doubt that her tweets were referencing Boat‘s renewal, she then replied (in a since-deleted tweet), “No, it’s not” to a fan who said the Season 6 pickup was “great news.” Wu also left a comment on the show’s official Instagram post celebrating the renewal that said simply: “Dislike.”
After posting a clarification on Friday evening, insisting that her tweets were “ill-timed” and that she was “so grateful” for the renewal, Wu then published a lengthy explanation on Saturday and revealed that she had to pass on another project because of Fresh‘s pickup.
“I love [Fresh Off the Boat]. I was temporarily upset yesterday not because I hate the show but because its renewal meant I had to give up another project that I was really passionate about,” she wrote. “So my dismayed social media replies were more about that other project and not about FOTB. But I understand how that could feel interconnected and could get muddled. So here is me unmuddling it with my truth: FOTB is a great show that I’m proud of and that I enjoy. I’ve gotten to fully explore my character and I know her like the back of my hand.”
Wu went on to regret her “insensitive” tweets, adding that “I know it’s a huge privilege that I even have options — options that FOTB has afforded me.”
She continued: “People can hold conflicting feelings in their hearts — that conflict is a part of being human. So I can both love the show/cast/crew but at the same time be disappointed that I lost that other unrelated job.”
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