ABC is standing by actress Constance Wu after the Fresh Off the Boat and Crazy Rich Asians star was embroiled in controversy over the weekend, which led to her becoming the talk of upfronts week.
“There’s been no thought to recasting Constance,” ABC entertainment president Karey Burke told reporters at Disney’s upfronts press conference Tuesday morning. “We love what she does on the show and we love the show.”
Wu faced criticism after her sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, a show about a Taiwanese-American family, was renewed for a sixth season last week. Wu, who plays the family’s mother, Jessica Huang, posted a series of tweets following the announcement, writing that she was “so upset right now that I’m literally crying” and responding to a fan’s congratulatory message about the “good news” by saying “no it’s not.”
Wu has since apologized for her comments, which she said were due to conflicting feelings about having to cancel another project she was working on once Fresh Off the Boat was renewed.
On Tuesday, Burke said that she was aware that Wu had another opportunity that she would have pursued had Fresh Off The Boat not been renewed. However, she added, the network “never really considered” cancelling the program, which was the first primetime broadcast show starring an Asian-American family in more than two decades.
“The show’s just too strong for us and we love it,” Burke said.
Burke also said she believes Wu’s apology, which provoked a fresh round of criticism after Wu seemed to invoke language from the #MeToo movement in a call for her fans to believe her. (A representative for Wu didn’t respond to Adweek’s request for comment Monday.)
“I would choose to believe Constance’s most recent communication about the show, that she is happy to return, and the cast and crew is happy to have her back,” Burke said.
The premiere date of Fresh Off the Boat’s sixth season has yet to be announced.