“I kept my mouth shut for a long time about a lot of sexual harassment and intimidation that I received the first two seasons of the show,” Wu said Friday during a performance on stage at the Atlantic Festival in Washington DC “Because, after the first two seasons , once it was a success, when I was no longer afraid of losing my job, then I could say ‘no’ to the bullying, ‘no’ to the harassment, from this particular producer, and so I thought, ‘Know you what? I’ve handled it, no one needs to know, I don’t need to stain the reputation of this Asian-American producer, I don’t need to stain the reputation of the show.’”
Wu called the experience “traumatic.” The actress, who most recently starred opposite Chris Pratt in Amazon’s The terminal listsat down for the interview on the eve of the release of her memoir Create a scene, from October 4 by Simon & Schuster. She said the publisher encouraged her to describe her experiences on the sitcom, though she resisted because of how it may have been received.
“I finally realized it was important to talk about it,” Wu continued. “That show was historic for Asian Americans. It was the only show on network television in over 20 years starring Asian Americans, and I didn’t want to tarnish the reputation of the only show we represented before us.”
Also during her appearance, Wu opened up about the controversy surrounding tweets she fired complaining about the show’s revamp. “I wanted to have a new slate where I didn’t have to start a show with all those memories of abuse. A few people knew [the harrasment] happened, and to go to work every day and see those people who knew he was sexually harassing me felt like a betrayal every time as a ‘buddy-buddy’ with him,” she continued. “I loved everyone on that crew and I loved working on that show, but it had that history of abuse that it started with, and even though I dealt with it after two years, I was looking forward to a clean slate.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to an ABC representative for comment on the allegations.