It’s smooth sailing at Fresh Off the Boat, despite leading lady Constance Wu‘s renewal-triggered social-media meltdown last May. That’s the word from ABC entertainment president Karey Burke, who assured reporters Monday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour that it will be business as unusual when the sitcom resumes production on Season 6 this week.
“We have ongoing conversations with the producers of Fresh Off the Boat, and it was made clear to us very early on that everyone took Constance at her word… that she was apologetic for what she had said,” the exec said. “I’ve heard nothing but enthusiasm for everyone to get back to work.”
Burke admitted that she hasn’t had any personal contact with Wu since the scandal broke. “I was happy that she apologized,” Burke noted. “I’ve had no further conversations with Constance. They start production this week, and I will see her at the table read.”
The controversy started when Wu — who starred in the box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians last summer, and has booked/eyed multiple film roles since — took to Twitter on May 10 to vent about bubble comedy Fresh Off the Boat‘s renewal, writing, “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F–k.” She followed that up with a tweet that read, “F–king hell.” When a fan congratulated her and said the renewal was “great news,” she replied (in a since-deleted tweet): “No it’s not.” Wu also left a comment on the show’s official Instagram post celebrating the renewal that said simply: “Dislike.”
Wu later clarified her thoughts, insisting that her tweets were “ill-timed” and that she was “so grateful” for the renewal. That said, the renewal did force her to pass up a film project she was “passionate” about. “People can hold conflicting feelings in their hearts,” she contended. “I can both love the show/cast/crew but at the same time be disappointed that I lost that other unrelated job.”
In the immediate wake of the dust-up, Burke dismissed the idea of recasting Wu on Fresh Off the Boat, even in the name of “perfect harmony” for all involved. “We love what she does on the show, and we love the show,” Burke said. “I did know that she had another opportunity that, had Fresh Off the Boat not gone forward, she would have pursued. But we never really considered not bringing the show back.”