Constance Wu Returns to Instagram After Being 'Off the Grid' for Nearly 3 Years

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After making her return to Twitter earlier this month, Constance Wu returned to her Instagram account to introduce her fans to a special project she made during her break. 

"While I was off the grid recovering, I took a little break from my acting career. But during that time I did do a couple select small projects with people I love and trusted. I Was a Simple Man was one of those projects," Wu captioned her Tuesday post. "It premiered at Sundance last year and is now available for streaming on Criterion." 

I Was a Simple Man follows an elderly Hawaiian man who encounters the ghosts from his past as he nears the end of his life. Wu stars alongside Steve Iwamoto, Tim Chiou, Kanoa Goo, Chanel Akiko Hirai, Nelson Lee, Hau'oli Carr, Kyle Kosaki and Boonyanudh Jiyarom. The film went on to win the Grand Jury Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Made in Hawai‘i Award at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival.

The actress explained that, since she was abstaining from social media when the film first came out, she wasn't able to share the news with her fans. "But now that I’m back on here for a bit, wanted to share this beautiful film by my dear friend @makotoyogi who I love and admire very much," she added. "Loved the cast and crew and heart of this experience. A wonderful experience and an incredible film ❤️"

Wu returned to social media on July 14 after nearly three years to announce her new book, Making a Scene, and to speak out about attempting suicide as a result of the backlash she endured following a Twitter fiasco surrounding Fresh Off the Boat's renewal in 2019. After ABC renewed the Asian-led comedy for a sixth season in May of that year, Wu posted a series of explicit tweets expressing her frustration and disappointment over the pickup.

Wu tweeted at the time, "So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F**k." She followed up with another tweet: "F**king hell." When someone left a comment congratulating Wu on the "great news," she replied back, writing, "No it's not." Shortly thereafter, Wu clarified that her tweets were not indicative of her feelings over the sitcom's renewal, but rather a culmination of a "rough day," "ill timed w/the news of the show" and that the pickup meant she'd have to give up a project she was "passionate about." The actress later apologized.

The 40-year-old actress explained in a lengthy letter posted on Twitter that she had been "afraid" to return to social media "because I almost lost my life from it."

"[Three] years ago, when I made careless tweets about the renewal of my TV show, it ignited outrage and internet shaming that got pretty severe," she wrote. "I felt awful about what I'd said, and when a few DMs from a fellow Asian actress told me I'd become a blight on the Asian American community, I started feeling like I didn't even deserve to live anymore. That I was a disgrace to [Asian Americans], and they'd be better off without me. Looking back, it's surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that's what happened. Luckily, a friend found me and rushed me to the ER."

"It was a scary moment that made me reassess a lot in my life," the Crazy Rich Asians star reflected. "For the next few years, I put my career aside to focus on my mental health. AsAms don't talk about mental health enough. While we're quick to celebrate representation wins, there's a lot of avoidance around the more uncomfortable issues within our community. Even my tweets became a subject so touchy that most of my AsAm colleagues decided that was the time to avoid me or ice me out. I'll admit it hurt a lot, but it also made me realize how important it is to reach out and care for people who are going through a hard time."

Wu shared that the three years away from the spotlight brought her clarity and provided her an outlet to put her experiences and thoughts on paper, resulting in her upcoming book that she hopes will "help people talk about the uncomfortable stuff in order to understand it, reckon with it, and open pathways to healing."

Wu, who currently stars in Amazon Prime Video's The Terminal List, also revealed she's gone to therapy during her break and says she feels "OK enough to venture back on [social media]" for at least a little bit. "Even though I'm scared, I've decided that I owe it to the me-of-[three]-years-ago to be brave and share my story so that it might help someone with theirs," she ended her note.

Read Wu's full letter below.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


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