Constance Wu defends NBC’s mail order bride show, Twitter responds


Constance Wu, who plays Jessica Huang on the show Fresh Off the Boat, has picked a somewhat ridiculous platform on which to fight for equality. For the backstory, NBC originally greenlighted a script from the trio behind the hit show Superstore called Mail Order Family. Just in case you were wondering, that is not a play on words, the premise was to be about a widowed father who sends away for a mail order bride to help raise his two daughters. It was based on writer Jackie Clarke’s experience with her own father having done this. She once described her whole sordid tale on an episode of This American Life. Spoiler – Clarke’s experience was miserable and she dislikes everyone involved. Understandably, the show received much backlash and NBC canceled it very soon after purchasing it.

What is not understandable is Constance posting this tweet last Friday:

But then she rethought her tweet and decided she should clarify herself so she tweeted this:

Oh good, so Constance will still back the lead actress in a show about a practice which has established and dangerous ties to human trafficking, even if the lead actress isn’t paid twice the salary and credited first. Glad she explained that. Constance’s tweets came prior to the show’s cancellation, yes, but after several petitions were put out to call for the show’s cancellation and the Twitter campaign #CancelMailOrderFamily was launched.

This is a real head-scratcher, isn’t it? Because I just don’t know how I should respond. Luckily, Twitter knew how to react:

OMG this ^^ – is she punking us? “it won’t be perfect”??? It would be a g-d travesty! You can read more on her Twitter or here, in case it gets taken down, which I doubt if it hasn’t already.

I get that Constance wanted to speak in favor of Asian representation and pay equality but how she thought this was the torch to light is beyond me.


Photo credit: Fame/Flynet Photos and Getty images

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31 Responses to “Constance Wu defends NBC’s mail order bride show, Twitter responds”

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  1. MC2 says:

    What a loon.

    On a side note- I am impatiently waiting for a post on Kid Cudi…..

    • Marty says:

      My heart broke for him. I hope he gets the help he needs.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Yeah, me too. I hope he’ll be okay.

    • MC2 says:

      I have to go back to now and will check back for a post.

      I was so happy to see him being honest about his struggles and super impressed that he just put it out there. It came across authentically and broke my heart to read. I watched a video of his last night and it tore me up…..night terrors, waking up in sweats, drinking too much, feeling shame, rather be lying in the bed full of sorrows. Man- my thoughts to him today and I am glad that he is in a better place today then he was a couple days ago and has been. So much respect for him taking the reins of his own sh7t and making a change.

      I hope he finds a new way to pursue happiness.

  2. Bridget says:

    You know, I’m not going to jump on her for this because she’s making an entirely different point. Constance Wu has spoken a lot on representation and diversity, she deserves the benefit of the doubt – it also makes me think that her male co-star is being paid 2x more than she is.

    For those of you that don’t know, the guy who her show is based on is really pissed that ABC chose to really soften up the father character. In real life he was pretty abusive (iirc) and they’ve completely Disney-fied him. I wonder if knowing that, if her comments are about “Mail Order Bride” Disney-fying the story, but if they at least paid the Asian lady what the white actor would normally be paid, it would be acceptable.

    Lots of words here, sorry!

    • MC2 says:

      I think you make a great to give her some time to explain or try to understand. I don’t know anything about this story so I jump to “mail order bride?! wtf?!” but I would assume that she (since she’s been sane in the past) has a point about this that goes deeper then a couple tweets. It’s a good idea, though, to try and bury this could have been a dumpster fire show in the ground and never speak of it again.

    • holly hobby says:

      If the author of Fresh Off the Boat didn’t like the disneyfying of his story, he should never have sold his rights to what was being written as a comedy and to ABC. Please he’s still billed as producer and he’s still getting money. Acting self righteous about it is disingenuous.

      If the author wants tv to show how his father really was, maybe he should have shopped around for a drama instead.

      I doubt the cast is paid anywhere near that of the Big Bang cast. Simply because they are asian and they weren’t household names. I think the contracts across the board were for lower than normal Hollywood salaries.

      Twitter is such a killer. Constance should have issued a statement. The word limit on Twitter doesn’t cut it.

  3. …this really just tells me if you get enough white men in a room they’ll think anything is a great idea no matter how much common sense would say no.

    Even reading the title of this post made me yell, “Wait, what???”

    A show about a mail order bride…I guess I’m happy it’s not a reality show?

    Constance girl, pick better hills to die on, you were on point with your Ghost In The Shell defense. Isn’t it more disturbing THIS is the show they greenlit for a woman??

    • Marty says:

      It’s seriously disturbing what cell crap they’ll greenlight instead of interesting and diverse content.

      • MC2 says:

        It’s disturbing that they think this is interesting & diverse content. They probably patted themselves on the back for being so rainbow.

    • Miss Grace Jones says:

      It isn’t just white men. The entire show is created by a disgusting racist white woman as mentioned in the article and her description is awful and who has talked about gay and asian women in a derogatory manner on her blog.

      • Thanks for providing the link. That was shocking and honestly amazingly racist, I know there’s a racism in a lot of things but I always divide between the ‘ignorance and superstition, we really think we’re helping you!’ racism and what I like to lovingly call “Paula Deen racism”

        That woman is a Paula Deen racist, I’m actually almost more impressed by how much she seemed to nail being a 95 yr old totally sheltered peep through the windows everytime they hear a foreigner laugh racist in a 30 something female body.

  4. Aiobhan says:

    I am scratching my head trying to come up with any excuse as to how Constance thought this was ok but was so ok with this that she doubled down on her argument. Was she drunk? Did she not know that this show is loosely based on the true story of the writer’s father buying a woman like a pair of shoes?

    No matter how much money the lead would have been offered, it never would have been ok because of the message that the show was sending out. That is like me supporting a show that has a black woman with 7 kids with 10 possible baby daddies (Maury has shown me this is possible), gold teeth, on welfare eating govment cheese, and every other stereotypical garbage that is thrown at black women. It would not matter if she was getting paid the same amount as the entire casts from Friends and Seinfeld during their final seasons combined, they are negative stereotypes and should be abolished.

    • Bridget says:

      I thought the point she was making that it happens so rarely for an Asian actress to be paid the way a white male actor is paid (ie top billed, 2x what his female costar makes) that she’d even support that dreck if they did. It’s not the example I’d double down on, but Twitter isn’t exactly the medium for in – depth stuff.

      • Aiobhan says:

        I don’t agree with it but I get what she is saying and not really bashing her but more trying to respectfully disagree with her. I kind of see why she is making that argument, but if she truly believes that representation matters for “minorities” then she should see why her argument is dangerous.

        Yes, the Asian actress who took the part would be getting paid good money but what does she have to do to get the money and how is that going to affect/effect future shows with a majority or even partly Asian cast? At this point, we should all know that Hollywood only repeats things that make them money. If this show did well then it would set a precedent for other shows to follow the same nasty template until something else comes along and makes them money. Who benefits from that other than the racists who put the shows out there and one or two people who were the leads on the show?

        Possibly,maybe the leads could eventually produce content that shows Americans of Asian descent and Asian immigrants in a favorable light, but how long will that take?

        This show and Constance’s line of thinking would be feeding into the racist system instead of changing it so that it benefits people of Asian decent on tv and in the media.

      • Bridget says:

        As I said, it’s not the example I’d double down on, but I see her point and I’d rather not eviscerate her for it.

    • Agreed, she was focusing on the money and the ‘honor’ of being a woman in that position but honestly.

      People bag on ‘social justice warriors’ but the idea is you are vocal because you genuinely believe in CAUSES.

      I don’t care how much money a woman is given to do a show about a topic we’d crucify a man for creating and getting paid big bucks. All that does is make one woman rich and hurt the cause. That ain’t feminism.

      • Aiobhan says:

        @The Eternal Side-Eye

        Exactly. I am never insulted when anyone calls me a SJW because most of the time those are people who are stuck in the past where it was ok to say whatever you want with no consequences.

        To me, it is the equivalent of someone saying “you’re lame” as a comeback to actual facts that you threw in their face. It is cynical and lazy to use it and a sign that that person is not a critical thinker or humble enough to admit they are wrong.

  5. Miss Grace Jones says:

    Here’s a link to an archive with miss Christie’s comedic genius. Couldn’t figure out how to get the direct link?

    • What…the actual…f–k.


      …how? Like at this point I’m baffled! How do people like THAT get money and success thrown at them with some horribly shitty ideas and no one ever does a background check or a Google search??

      • Miss Grace Jones says:

        I honestly have no idea how people can even say things like that with a straight face. It’s straight out of a Dave Chappelle skit ir something .

    • Payal says:


  6. OhDear says:

    Twitter was not the best place for her to make her point.

    What she was saying is that she doesn’t necessarily support the premise of the show – she mentions that in a subsequent tweet. However, if the network insists on having it, then she’d support it only if the Asian actress gets top billing and salary. That way, the character is not treated as a secondary character viewed through the lens of the white people on the show and/or is more likely to be treated as a full character instead of just comic relief.

  7. Naya says:

    Maybe she was thinking that the show would depict the mail order thing for what it really is. Dark material can still make good comedy, just see Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The male character would have to be clearly shown as unsympathetic and the story can be about this female character breaking free of him. it would have to be unquestionably ANTI the mail order culture which means dumping the creator but thats not impossible. Show creators are ditched all the time. The real problem for me is that I dont trust a writers room filled with white dudes to do it right.

    Edit: I have just read the creators post comparing Asian women to gay men. F*ck her to hell and back.

    • Fiorella says:

      KS is exactly what I kept thinking of reading bear comments. Why is human trafficking not ok to tackle from whatever angle? It’s Obviously not a pro trafficking stance? Seems like it could be illuminating in many ways if done right

  8. Nancy says:

    Did someone double dog dare her to post these tweets. If she is trying to make a point, she failed miserably.

  9. Andrea says:

    Just listened to the This American Life podcast. The premise isn’t funny at all, it’s actually quite sad. That said, I think Constance’s point is that women aren’t paid for their work and that’s unfair. The job of playing the wife in the TV show Mail Order Family is a job which means it’s cancellation is one less job for an asian women in Hollywood.

  10. Meow says:

    GIRL. Matte makeup exists. De-shine that forehead.

  11. Bob says:

    From what little I know about Constance Wu, her stupidity here does not surprise me at all. This is the woman who called out a Chinese director backed by Chinese investors for casting Matt Damon in their movie. Zhang Yimou made movies for decades before casting his first white actor. It is phenomenally stupid to call him out for not doing enough to increase representation of Asians. She thinks it’s ok to put racist trash like this sitcom on tv as long as an Asian actress is getting paid, but she was outraged by a Chinese director trying to increase his access to international markets by casting a white guy.

    Every time I read about this woman I become more convinced that she really doesn’t grasp the broader problem at all, it’s just about her opportunities.

    • Bridget says:

      You mean where she said we should “stop perpetuating the myth that only a white man can save the world”? Yeah, what a moron. Doesn’t she understand that because a Chinese director is making the movie it’s okay to have the lone white man in the movie be the big hero?

      • Bob says:

        Yes, actually, she is a moron. A spoiled product of the West criticizing a man who was a victim of the Cultural Revolution, a man whose career was put on ice for several years by the Chinese government because they felt his work wasn’t sufficiently pro-state. She was an asshole to approach him and his work as if he were like her, an American working in Hollywood. Her comments made me wonder if she even knows who he is (widely accepted as the most talented Chinese filmmaker alive). He’s already made movies where Chinese men save the world, he’s made movies where Chinese women are the heroes.

        If she can tolerate a mail order bride sitcom, but can’t tolerate a man who has employed more Asians over the years than everyone presently working in Hollywood combined daring to cast a white actor, then she is a moron.