Constance Wu Responds to ‘Asian Incels’ Who Target Her Online

By Jackson McHenry, Vulture

Thanks to Fresh Off the Boat and Crazy Rich Asians, Constance Wu has risen to success with record speed in Hollywood while remaining outspoken, which has also made her the target of trolls. In conversation at Vulture Festival Los Angeles with Vulture editor Alex Jung, Wu responded to some of those trolls, but also explained why she isn’t bothered by their attacks. The actress has become the target of what Jung called “MRAsians” and Wu referred to as “Asian incels”: Asian men who have attacked her for dating a white man. “A lot of Asian men are mad that one of my boyfriends was white,” Wu explained to the audience, “and they make this assumption that every single one of my boyfriends has been white based on the one boyfriend they’ve seen on my social media, who is the boyfriend that I was dating when I first started my account, all the way up until after Fresh Off the Boat. Unless they think I was a virgin before I was 30, then … yeah.”

Wu went on to explain that she doesn’t make a point of responding to these attacks online, because she feels like clapping back to them isn’t productive. “I don’t clap back online because I don’t feel the need to defend myself,” Wu said, noting that she feels comfortable in her self worth, and adding later that “I am completely okay in my choices and why I make them – I’m very confident in that – so if somebody needs to target me in order to be part of longer journey about how they feel about themselves or their place in the world, I think that’s fine.” Those attacks do hurt, Wu said, but “I understand it enough, not to justify it, but just to understand.”

The conversation came in the context of Wu discussing how she asked to cut a line her Crazy Rich Asians character Rachel Chu says in the book about how she doesn’t date Asian guys, with the exception of Nick Young. “I do think that that is a topic that should have some story and its own voice, but I think what we were trying to do with Crazy Rich Asians is take that away and in fact not even dignify that argument by putting it in there,” Wu said. “In the book, I kind of thought it was used as a ploy,” she continued, adding that author Kevin Kwan might not like her assessment, but “in the book she says wow, I’ve never dated Asian guys beforebut Nick is different. To say somebody is an exception to the rule is to reaffirm the rule.”

Wu also said she has felt less of a need to be vocal on Twitter recently both because invective from trolls does sting, and because she feels that more people are talking about the issues she previously felt a need to speak up about, such as Casey Affleck’s Oscar nomination in the context of sexual harassment allegations against him or the Matt Damon film The Great Wall perpetuating a “racist myth.”

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