In a tweet posted on Friday, the “Fresh Off The Boat” star revealed what would make her support the show:
People immediately started bashing her. They were brutal and they did not give Wu any mercy at all. There were very few people who supported her thoughts.
Constance quickly explained her stance:
Netizens discussed what Wu just said in no time. Over Reddit, the0clean0slate started a thread:
“Constance Wu justifies normalizing portrayal of human trafficking if it means more Asian female roles for her and higher pay. She is fine with more stereotype as a submissive Asian mail order bride if it means she gets paid. Still thinks she should be a figurehead of our community?”
Redditors were critical, pointing Wu’s failure to see what’s outraging people:
“HA! Screw Constance Wu. Sellout. Self Hater. Bad Person to idolize.”
“She doesn’t care about stereotypes and freaking sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”
“Not surprised of course. I knew she was up to no good. However I must say I’m really glad she did that. people needed to see her true colors out in the open.”
Others looked from different lenses, reddit user arcterex117 wrote:
“I don’t think Constance is a sell-out necessarily. I think she is so invested in the idea of women receiving equal pay in H’wood that it is blinding her to the bigger picture of how we’re depicted. Reality: Constance’s character in FOB has her ethnicity and accent played for laughs. She routinely is the “foreign crazy person” who’s allowed to be crazy because she’s an ‘immigrant and doesn’t know better’. There is also the tiger mother stereotype. So to some degree, she’s had to let certain things slide in terms of H’wood exploiting her ethnicity to get ahead. I think what she’s done is internally justify her ‘compromising’ by claiming that her doing so is a part of a larger feminist narrative of women getting ahead. Mindy Kaling did the same thing; a show on which she was paired up with 19 men, all white; no Indian men, in fact no men other than white. And Kaling said she was a feminist hero – taking Indian-American women forwards but ignoring her contribution to white worship (part of the white agenda, conscious or otherwise).
Succumbing to the white narrative in order to advance personally is not feminist. It’s not pro-Asian. It’s just selfish. Overall, I don’t think Wu’s character in FOB is a total loss. There are real compromises that you have to make to get ahead in the film business. I just think with intersectionality, the tradeoffs are more complicated and in this case, she mistakenly sees high pay in this role as empowering for women by considering it too one-dimensionally. In actuality, by her justifying airing Mail Order Family based on an Asian woman getting paid well, she’s reinforcing the damning underlying theme of Mail Order Family, which is that Asian women can be bought.”
Another user wrote:
“If you want to make it in Hollywood you have to play by the white man’s rules. You either conform or fuck off. I don’t see how this is surprising because it’s been highlighted that even black celebrities stay silent on black issues, more often than not. At the end of the day, we’re not paying their bills so they could care less about us.”
Due to overwhelming protest, NBC scrapped “Mail Order Family” two days after announcing its development. The show would have followed the story of a widowed single father who purchases a bride by mail from the Philippines.
The company said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter):
“We purchased the pitch with the understanding that it would tell the creator’s [Jackie Clarke] real-life experience of being raised by a strong Filipina stepmother after the loss of her own mother. The writer and producers have taken the sensitivity to the initial concept to heart and have chosen not to move forward with the project at this time.”
How do you feel about this? Are people being too hard on Constance Wu?