One evening, she writes, after she and the man attended a sporting event, he placed his hand on her thigh, his hand ultimately grazing her crotch. She found a way to politely stop him from touching her again, and the two seemingly brushed off the incident as if it had never happened. This was in 2015, she reminds the reader, before #MeToo.
By the time season two arrived, Ms. Wu began to feel more secure on the job. The show had garnered her fame and accolades. She felt empowered to say no to his demands. In the book, she recalls that after an explosive argument over whether or not she would attend a film festival with him, their relationship soured. Soon, they were no longer on speaking terms.
ABC, through a spokesman, declined to comment.
Ms. Wu said she isn’t interested in pointing fingers, and writing that essay wasn’t about blaming the man or demanding accountability — except for herself. But, as she explains in the essay, “Fresh Off the Boat” might not have been the wonderful, joyful experience that people thought it was for her. Maybe those tweets, she said, were a release valve, the culmination of negative emotions and frustrations at being forced to pretend that everything on the show was actually OK. “I felt betrayed and trapped,” said Ms. Wu.
“I was genuinely moved by the honesty in her book,” wrote the actor Nora Lum, 34, otherwise known as Awkwafina, in an email. The two had both starred in “Crazy, Rich Asians” and have since become good friends.
“There is a generosity and a compassion in her writing. And that translates into her work as an actor,” said the director Christopher Makoto Yogi, 40, who cast Ms. Wu in his 2021 film “I Was a Simple Man.” Mr. Yogi shared that his “experience has only been positive” working with Ms. Wu.