Fresh Off The Boat star Constance Wu has used her platform for good many times before, speaking out against whitewashing and for more Asian visibility in Hollywood.
Yesterday, Wu spoke out against Casey Affleck’s Oscar nomination on Twitter, comparing it to Trump’s election and discussing rape culture. Both Affleck and Trump have been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women (see more on the accusations against Affleck here, here and here; for a history of accusations against Trump, see here). Wu wrote:
“Men who sexually harass women 4 OSCAR! Bc good acting performance matters more than humanity, human integrity! Bc poor kid rly needs the help!
“Boys! BUY ur way out of trouble by settling out of court! Just do a good acting job, thats all that matters!bc Art isn't about humanity, right?”
She then shared a longer statement with the caption, “Here's a thing I wrote during a convo w/ [actor] @PeterShinkoda about how Casey Affleck's win will be a nod to Trump's.”
The statement read:
“Right, he’s not running for Prez. He’s running for an award that honors a craft whose purpose is examining the dignity of the human experience & young women are deeply human. The absence of awards doesn’t diminish a great performance... But the choices an awards committee makes DOES increase the dignity of an award and brings light to the pursuit our craft seeks to honor... I know it’s just an award but I guess I’m in this career, not for awards, but because the treatment of human life matters to me. So I stand the f*ck up for it.”
Wu finished with: “I've been counseled not to talk about this for career's sake. F my career then, I'm a woman & human first. That's what my craft is built on.”
Although many have pointed out Brie Larson’s decision to quietly give Affleck his trophy and leave the stage without hugging him when she presented him with his Golden Globe earlier this month (and we applaud Larson for doing so), Wu is the first actor to speak out so strongly against Affleck and acknowledge his history of alleged sexual assault.
And Wu’s decision to speak out is an incredibly brave one. Although Affleck’s history of alleged sexual harassment and assault has been written about by some media outlets (including us), film industry publications have largely stayed away from covering it. Affleck is well-connected in Hollywood — his brother is Ben Affleck, and both Ben and Matt Damon have publicly supported him throughout his Oscar campaign. And people who speak out against powerful Hollywood people often face direct consequences. Remember when The Hollywood Reporter published a piece by Ronan Farrow calling for the media to pay more attention to Dylan Farrow saying that Woody Allen raped her — and as retaliation, Allen’s team banned all Hollywood Reporter writers from attending Allen's Cannes Film Festival events?
On Twitter, Wu's words were met with applause, including this tweet from 2 Dope Queens comedian Phoebe Robinson:
We agree, Phoebe. And, Constance, thank you.
Top photo from BUST magazine December/January 2016; Photo: Emily Shur; Stylist: Jessica Paster; Makeup: Molly Greenwald; Hair: Marissa Marino; Shirt: Levis; Earrings: Melinda Maria
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