When We Eat Our Own

Katie Gee Salisbury
ZORA
Published in
10 min readOct 13, 2022

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Constance Wu & the impossible expectations of representation

Constance Wu was all over the media this past week on a redemption tour of sorts as she promotes her new book, a memoir in essays called Making a Scene. Like many Asian Americans, I’ve had ambivalent, sometimes even negative, feelings about her. I heard the rumors — that she was high-strung, a perfectionist. That she was strangely reclusive and regularly declined to hang out with her co-stars in order to memorize her lines. That the other actors from Fresh Off the Boat and Crazy Rich Asians didn’t like her. That she was a diva.

How anyone in my social circle could actually be privy to this information is still a mystery, but someone put out the word, it got around and had a consistent theme to it. Constance Wu was not the Asian American movie star we wanted her to be.

So when The Tweet happened in 2019 — an expression of frustration and anger seemingly in response to FOTB being surprise renewed for a sixth season — the internet temporarily broke. A lapse in judgment, ten words posted in a very public forum, served as proof that everyone’s suspicions about Constance Wu were woefully correct.

courtesy of BuzzFeed

A blitz of social media shaming followed and the Twitter trolls came out hard.

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Katie Gee Salisbury
ZORA
Writer for

Author of NOT YOUR CHINA DOLL, a new biography of Anna May Wong, forthcoming from Dutton on March 12, 2024. Available for pre-order: www.notyourchinadoll.com