Actor Constance Wu revealed Thursday that she nearly died by suicide in 2019, following widespread social media backlash to a series of tweets she posted expressing frustration with the renewal of ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” on which she starred at the time.
In a statement announcing her tentative return to Twitter, the “Hustlers” and “Crazy Rich Asians” star said she “was afraid of coming back on social media because I almost lost my life from it.”
“After a little break from Hollywood and a lot of therapy I feel OK enough to venture back on here (at least for a little bit). And 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,” Wu wrote.
In May 2019, Wu, then starring on ABC’s groundbreaking sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” posted several tweets expressing frustration with the network renewing the show for what became its final season. “So upset right now that I’m literally crying,” she said, in a now-deleted tweet on the day the network made the announcement.
After intense uproar on social media, Wu later explained her frustration was because the show’s renewal meant she “had to give up another project that I was really passionate about,” she wrote on Twitter. “So my dismayed social media replies were more about that other project and not about FOTB.”
On Thursday, she went on to detail that among the “severe” social media comments she received in response to her tweets were messages “from a fellow Asian actress,” who told Wu “I’d become a blight on the Asian American community.”
“I started feeling like I didn’t even deserve to live anymore,” Wu wrote on Thursday, describing how the messages had made her feel like “a disgrace” to Asian Americans.
“Looking back, it’s surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that’s what happened,” she continued. “Luckily, a friend found me and rushed me to the ER.”
Wu described how the situation “made me reassess a lot in my life,” including getting off social media and pausing her career to prioritize her mental health. She urged fellow Asian Americans to talk more about mental health and not avoid “the more uncomfortable issues within our community.”
The actor, who is currently starring on the Amazon series “The Terminal List,” also revealed that she wrote a book called “Making a Scene,” “to reach out and help people talk about the uncomfortable stuff in order to understand it, reckon with it, and open pathways to healing.”
“If we want to be seen, really seen ... we need to let all of ourselves be seen, including the parts we’re scared of or ashamed of — parts that, however imperfect, require care and attention,” she said. “And we need to stop beating each other (and ourselves) up when we do.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.