ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Constance Wu’s reaction to the news of “Fresh Off the Boat’s” renewal.
The actress, who has starred on the ABC family sitcom since its premiere, initially expressed some apparent displeasure about the renewal last week, generating a strong reaction on social media. She later explained that her comments stemmed from frustration that the news meant she’d have to turn down another project.
“There’s been no talk of recasting Constance. We love what she does on the show and we love the show,” Burke told reporters ahead of the networks upfront presentation on Tuesday. “I did actually know that Constance had another opportunity that had ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ not gone forward, she would’ve pursued.”
“But we never really considered not bringing back ‘Fresh Off the Boat,'” Burke continued. “The show is just too strong for us and we love it.”
The “Crazy Rich Asians” star reacted to news that her comedy was renewed Friday by tweeting: “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F-.” And when a follower congratulated her with “Great news,” she responded, “No it’s not.”
She later explained that she wasn’t upset about the show’s renewal, but the fact that she would have to turn down another project to accommodate the show’s schedule.
“FOTB is a great show that I’m proud of and that I enjoy,” she wrote in a statement. “I’ve gotten to fully explore my character and I know her like the back of my hand. So playing Jessica is fun and easy and pleasant. I get to work with a kind and pleasant cast/crew … But in general, I’ve always sought artistic challenge over comfort and ease. I was disappointed in not being able to do that other project.”
Wu went on to apologize for the “ill-timing” of her words, and said they were “insensitive to those who are struggling.”
“People can hold conflicting feelings in their hearts-that conflict is part of being human,” she wrote. “So I can both love the show/cast/crew but at the same time be disappointed that I lost that other unrelated job. I appreciate those who have given me the space and faith to believe what I say about both parts of my heart. Thank you.”
“I’m going to choose to believe Constance’s most recent communication about the show, that she is happy to return,” Burke said on Tuesday. “The cast and crew is happy to have her back and we’re thrilled to have her on the show.”