Karey Burke knew a Constance Wu question was coming, and she had an answer ready.
At a press briefing Tuesday ahead of the Disney upfront presentation in New York City, the ABC president was asked about the star of “Fresh Off the Boat.” Wu had set off a social-media frenzy Friday when she tweeted a profanity in response to the news that the sitcom had been renewed for a sixth season.
Burke said there was no thought of recasting Wu, because “we love what she does on the show and we love the show.”
Burke added that she was aware that Wu had another opportunity that “if ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ had not gone forward, she would have pursued. But we never really considered not bringing back ‘Fresh Off the Boat.’ It was just too strong.”
Over the weekend, Wu issued a lengthy statement that included an apology but didn’t exactly quell the uproar. She explained that while she “love[s] and enjoy[s]” working on “Fresh Off the Boat,” she had another offer pending for a role that would have been more challenging — a priority for her. (She also raised some eyebrows by urging people to “believe women.”)
“I’m going to choose to believe Constance’s most recent communication about the show,” Burke said Tuesday.
Premiering in 2015, “Fresh Off the Boat” was the first network sitcom in 20 years to feature an Asian American family and has been praised as a major milestone for representation on the small screen. Wu’s star has risen thanks to the box office success of “Crazy Rich Asians” last year.