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So I’ve been seeing this piece being shared on social media over the weekend asking the question: Is it inconsistent that Constance Wu’s boyfriend is white considering her strong advocacy on the part of Asian Americans?

For those requiring some more context regarding this question, Wu plays the role of the matriarch Jessica Huang on ABC’s series FRESH OFF THE BOAT and has emerged as one of the loudest public voices on issues of Asian American representation like calling out the trailer for the upcoming film THE GREAT WALL, which stars Matt Damon as a white dude in historical China who’s apparently leading the fight against some monsters and…whatever the fuck it is ’cause I can’t make heads or tails from that trailer.

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But as the question posed above suggests, there are some in the community who have issues with the fact that her boyfriend is white and believe that somehow makes her a hypocrite for speaking out on Asian American issues.

I’m going to venture to say that most, if not all, of her trolls critics are my fellow Asian American men. This isn’t a new thing. I remember taking Asian American studies classes back in college and no matter what the topic was, somehow the discussion always returned to “white male-Asian female relationships” and how the “prevalence” of these relationships was evidence that Asian women were race traitors contributing to the continued emasculation of Asian American men in America. And yes, it was always an Asian American male student who hammered this point over and over.

Obviously, the stereotype of asexual Asian men was and is a real issue–as is the continued media portrayal of Asian women as exotic love interests for white males–and all that should be addressed, but I never found those discussions to be genuinely productive since they usually stayed on the level of name calling and attacking Asian women and not much more. Clearly, in the over two decades since those college days, the dialogue really hasn’t progressed much at all.

Now, before I address the Constance Wu question, I should point out that I don’t know Wu, never met her, don’t her boyfriend, don’t know much about her life beyond what I’ve seen and read since the premiere of FRESH OFF THE BOAT. But I have been impressed by her outspokenness which is rare for Asian Americans in the industry who generally tend to not be so vocal for, among other reasons, fear of offending people in the industry and losing jobs. Wu doesn’t seem to care about that and has said as much. Kudos to her.

Which leads us back to the question of the day: does the fact that she have a white boyfriend negate her advocacy?

To which, let me reply with a simple question of my own: WHY THE FUCK IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION?! Come on, guys, it’s 2016, can we please reframe this dialogue differently? Why does this even matter?

Look, if Wu had come out and straight out said something to the effect of, “Asian men are unattractive, they have small dicks, they’re gross and yucky,” then I’d be the first to say fuck her, but that’s not the case. As far as I know, she has never said anything vaguely anti-Asian male and simply having a boyfriend who’s white and whom she seems to have a genuine relationship with is not the same as dissing Asian males. That’s what’s known as a false equivalency.

So in researching this issue (i.e. googling “Constance Wu” and “sorry ass loser motherfuckers”), I came upon a Reddit thread created back in June entitled “Constance Wu and her average white boyfriend. Asian females are hypocrites.”

Since this reddit thread is apparently where all the truly sorry ass loser motherfuckers are hanging out, let me address a few of their dumb remarks:

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Yes, she has stated that she is interested in supporting projects by Asian American women and LGBTs. Again, just because she’s passionate about seeing more of our female and LGBT filmmakers succeed doesn’t mean she is dissing or excluding Asian men. This statement is the equivalent of those folks who say #AllLivesMatter whenever #BlackLivesMatter comes up. Just shut the fuck up!

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As others on the thread pointed out, this isn’t even true. It’s what’s known as a Trumpism–putting forth information with no basis in reality as “fact” because you heard someone talk about it or you read about it somewhere or God came to you in your sleep and told you so.

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I don’t even know how to respond to this. Hey dumbasses, FRESH OFF THE BOAT is a fictional TV show written by writers who make up the stories. The actors on the show are hired to pretend to be other people. So no, that is not a real family we’re watching and it’s not a documentary. IT’S NOT REAL!

There’s no way the comments can get stupider than that, right? Well:

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What does this even mean? But I’d love it if you could tell me how to do the dishes the right Asian way ’cause I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing it wrong.

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Speaking of the Chinese Exclusion Act since you brought it up, that “disgusting traitor” is developing a project about that (among other things which also sound inclusive of Asian men).  What are you doing, BTW?

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And moving on to:

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So of course no online thread criticizing an actress would be complete without the “she’s really ugly” comment. Sorry, I think she’s pretty damn attractive.

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And finally, no online thread criticizing an Asian American actress would be complete without a broadening of the focus to include others:

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Not much to say after that.

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UPDATE (8-22, 1:45PM): Let me add one more response since I’ve been seeing a number of reactions like this since this blog went up:

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Again this is a false equivalency. Firstly, this is comparing apples to oranges. Being in what appears to be a loving relationship with a human being isn’t comparable to something like running a slaughterhouse or owning a Hummer (the other example I’ve been seeing a lot today is how she’s like an environmentalist who owns a Hummer).

For this comparison to work, she’d have to be, for example, producing movies featuring Asian characters but casting a white actor in the lead role (i.e. Scarlett Johannson in GHOST IN THE SHELL). If she were doing something like that while still claiming to be an advocate for the community then comparing her to an animal rights activist running a slaughterhouse would be a comparison that makes sense. So if Constance Wu announces she’s going to produce and act in a movie set centuries ago in China that stars Matt Damon, then by all means go to town and call her out on her hypocrisy. But that is clearly not the case here.

But let me help you out with a better example–an equivalent comparison would be to say she’s like a pro-vegan activist in a relationship with a non-vegan. Does that make the vegan activist a hypocrite? I’m sure some would argue so, but I don’t see how that should matter as long as she’s true to her principles and cause (and yes, there are examples of vegan activists in real life who are married to supportive non-vegans who continue to do their activist work without any problems). Just as a Christian who is with a non-Christian can still be a devout Christian, just as a Democratic activist working to get Hillary Clinton elected can be married to a Donald Trump supporter, just as someone who’s a cancer survivor can advocate for funding and resources for cancer research while in a relationship with someone who’s never had cancer–these are just some examples of couples I personally know who don’t have an issue navigating around what some may see as a contradiction.

27 Comments

  1. If hollywood directors wanted white people in their movies, then they should have white people in their movies just like how Constance wants a white man to be her boyfriend. Both are guilty of whitewashing.

  2. btw, you pulled up quotes from a mixed asian subreddit. This group has more of a right to complain about the embarrassment of WMAF pairings than anyone. You call these guys looser mutherfuckers? You know many people in this country would consider the writers of this blog “looser mutherfuckers”. Aren’t asians the model minority? What are you complaining about?

  3. You can’t “whitewash” whom you choose to be in a relationship with and compare that to casting an actor. We don’t “cast” our significant others nor do we audition them for roles.

    Why are WMAF pairings an embarrassment? BTW, it’s loser, not looser, unless you think they’re loose. Also, what the hell does being a model minority (actually a negative thing) have anything to do with this article?!

  4. Its exactly the same thing. You don’t think dating is an audition?

    The model minority comment was something a person could say to quickly diminish or undermine AA issues, similar to what this author does to undermine issues of asian mixed people who more often than not have this pairing as parents

  5. Preach,Phillip! PREACH.
    It’s like… what does who she is with have to do with any of her awesome work?
    It’s like discrediting Bruce Lee’s effort and work because he married a white woman. God forbid we diss Bruce Lee, but we know him for his awesome work and what he has contributed to the Asian American community, NOT who he married.

  6. Why do most asian american female celebrities are with white men but not with asian men? like Lucy Liu only date white men, Maggie Q engaged to Dylan McDermott, Jamie Chung engaged to Bryan Greenberg, Brenda Song is dating with Trace Cyrus, other like Devon Aoki, Sandra Oh, Michele Kwan, Vera Wang, Julie Chen are married to white guys, even the new coming Constance Wu from Fresh Off the Boat is currently dating a white guy, youtube asian american female celebrities like Michelle Phan, Jenn Im of Clothes Encounters, Mari Takahashi of Smosh and some other also dating with white guys, why don’t they hung out with asian men but only with white men ?

  7. Nations divide us, Races divide us, Politics divide us, Religions divide us, Money divides us but only LOVE CONNECTS US.
    I don’t think it matters who she dates as long as they love each other. I think that she will continue to advocate Asian Americans, no matter what ethnicity she dates.
    I agree to the answer to this question-
    Q: does the fact that she have a white boyfriend negate her advocacy?
    A: WHY THE F*** IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION?!
    =]

  8. “I’m going to venture to say that most, if not all, of her trolls critics are my fellow Asian American men.”

    1st of all, How do you know that? Or are you projecting? 2nd of all, would you ever call black women “trolls” for being outspoken about black men disproportionately dating white women (especially after attaining a modicum of success)?? Cmon, man…

  9. Only in America is when color is factor in relationships. I call bullshit overall. Please these insecure stories are just proving that you would rather complain behind a screen, to complain but not do something about it. The only ones that feel insecure are the ones that don’t do anything. When you start telling yourself you can’t do this because of your race it proves only you are stopping yourself from achieving what you really want. Forget blaming others and do stuff for yourself.

  10. I am a wf but I am married to an am and live in Asia. I think it is best not to judge people as a whole. By negating Constance Wu’s work because of who she is dating, these people are saying all interracial dating is simply racial and political power play. It could be, if Miss Wu were dating the wrong person maybe, but she is a loud and proud advocated for the Asian American community, and her boyfriend is still around, so he is supportive of what she is doing and likely a solid partner. Here in Asia, there are a lot of white guys who look at the local women simply as a good lay, but there are white guys that work their hands to the bone to provide for their wives and children. You can see these types of people in any race. Instead of casting a net over whole groups, look at a person’s individual character.

  11. Exactly. This comes up in a lot of mixed relationships. Guys wanna claim all women from their ethnicities as their own property, even if they’re not with them. And act like, them being in a relationship outside of their ethnic group, is why they can’t get girlfriends. No you can’t get girlfriends because you’re simple-minded assholes, with shitty attitudes, and an over-inflated sense of entitlement.

    And whenever someone wants to attack a woman’s character and credibility, they always go for the shrew routine, and talk about their looks, because they can’t handle a strong woman, with her own opinions, and the ability to do whatever the help she wants.

    I like what Ms.Wu says. A lot of the things she says, apply to several minorities, and as one, with friends from many different cultural backgrounds, it always makes me happy to see someone who is speaking about these issues, because they affect us all.

    So fuck the haters Constance, you keep doing you.

  12. There are plenty of Asian females with Asian males! There happens to be more Asian females in Hollywood because they are more fetishized than Asian males, and so the couples you see on the red carpet portrays more Asian female-white male couples, because that’s who they are around. That does not account for the vast majority of us. And what does it matter that Michelle Phan isn’t dating a WongFu guy, or if Jenn Im didn’t fall for Ryan Higa? Michelle Phan travels the whirls, and if she found love in France, then why can’t she be happy with him, without being discredited for all the things she has done to represent her proud, Vietnamese roots? I don’t know if you actually watch their videos, but Michele Phan has a very diverse palette in her circle of friends, Jenn Im has mostly asian friends, and her friend Sophia (fashionista802) has dated several Asians, and is currently in a relationship with one. And what about Chriselle Lim? She is married to an Asian, and also sort-of-not-really recently gave birth to a cute daughter. That being said, an Asian female being in a relationship with a White male does not mean she is whitewashed. It simply means she has met someone who is not Asian, and has been charmed by him.

    And I don’t know where you’re going with the “model minority” argument, but I’m offended. As a “model minority”, we face plenty of racism against us; don’t you dare say we have nothing to complain about. We are expected to achieve higher scores, and therefore, if we “match” in and with someone else of a different race, we are often discredited for our high achievement. Furthermore, there are still those who see us as nothing more than nail salon and laundromat workers. If you are unaware of this, then it is you, mookie7432, who does not understand the extent of white privilege.

    If anything, I would call this out as a matter of the messed up, patriarchal world that we are in. Look at this: an Asian female can be discredited for dating a white male, but there is no backlash on an Asian male dating a white female. There are mixed babies with such an outcome, mind you. I mean, Bruce Lee and Linda Lee had two children! Lorde was also dating James Lowe for two years, as well. These men don’t get backlash for dating white women! You don’t hear anyone swaying that Bruce Lee is white washing martial arts by teaching Caucasians and marrying a white female. This is just bogus. HOLLYWOOD creates a stigma against Asian guys being unfit, ugly men (unless you’re Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or Li Shang). This isn’t the fault of Asian women meeting men of other races, and it is unfair to criticize someone for their relationship choice.

    Now that we have already settled that it doesn’t matter who Constance Wu is dating, let’s focus on sobering more important. This is a fight that ASIAN AMERICANS have, because Hollywood does not see us first as an American, but an Asian. We should not be fighting each other over our relationship choices, but we need to fight fot our CULTURE. the fact that a white man is starring in a film about CHINA, and is fighting off dragons. Our culture is being appropriated by Hollywood, and sadly, our own Chinese directors as well. Since when was the Great Wall built to keep away Eastern dragons? Eastern dragons are GOOD omens and fight off evil in Eastern culture! These are the things to fight for and about. Mind you, there are Chinese directors and producers who are OKAY with this, and have also supported the decision for Matt Damon to starr in this film. I have no qualms about Matt Damon as a person (I don’t even know him), but excuse you: I belong in that film more than he does. And before soneone tells me I’m racist for saying that, it’s more racist that you cast a white man to starr in a Chinese film setting, because there were little to NO Caucasians in China during that time, and it makes absolutely no sense that someone with the racial/physical profile Matt Damon would have be sent out to defend China.

  13. As an Asian American female I can tell you that only being “half-breed Asian” has been a detractor to Asian Males. As I read these negative comments I can’t help but notice how everyone’s throwing around the “race issue” and a multiracial relationship; but it’s actually a hate issue and do you know how’ve drawn that conclusion??? By the GENERALIZATION of “Asian Males” and WMAF. People just shut the fuck up and realize that we’re all ONE RACE of people, we just happen to be from different regions? Think Anglo of “white looking people” from Africa, or An “Indian” (as in born in INDIA that has a Korean Mother, and “Indian” father would that kid not be Asian??) again, it’s been PROVEN; we are only one race of PEOPLE

  14. I love Constance Wu but this is disappointing. Date whoever you want in 2016. But isn’t being critical/progressive/feminist to be critical and reflexive of the many ways we are embedded/implicated within broader structures of (unequal) power? Somehow in 2016 are we now beyond the personal still maybe being political? I don’t mind who she dates, but it would behoove her as a “progressive” to acknowledge the problematic nature of dating a white man as a (yes, still) hypersexualized/hyperdesired Asian (American) woman in a white, heterosexist world. There are entire dissertations about “oppressed,” poor Southeast Asian women married to East Asian men but you have “educated,” “Western” Asian (American) woman still disproportionately paired with”progressive” (Western) white men and suddenly it’s about free choice, agency, and progressiveness. Sorry, the parallel reeks of classism and a certain kind of Western-centric arrogance on the part of Western (even Asian American) feminists and racial progressives (of which I include myself). Her relationship isn’t any more or less problematic as the following: a wealthy man dating a poorer woman, a queer white man dating a queer man of color, an Asian American man dating an Asian “native” woman, or even an Asian man dating a white Western woman (yes, this can be “problematic” in ways, too. I don’t think merely acknowledging the rampant whitecentrism among Asians (men and women) EVEN in 2016–and how it gets reproduced and reflected in the most intimate ways–should ever get old. Anti-Asian women bashing is unforgivable–Asian men, you listening? But so is categorically dismissing the real pain of Asian (American) men STILL in 2016 feeling dehumanized by Asian and non-Asian people alike.

  15. BTW – YES we should also dis Bruce Lee for marrying Linda Lee Cadwell insomuch as he was a quarter white and was also spouting the “we are all once race” trope of the uber optimistic/politically naive 1960s/70s. Not like Bruce Lee was getting down with brown or black women. Nah, he wanted the fairest of them all in sunshine kissed /white-Asian kumbaya Washington/NorCal. Most Asian (American) men lust for white women as much as Asian (American) women lust for white men. Both are problematic insomuch as they tend to uphold white supremacy, not least of which is its ability to be “invisible” (i.e., under the guise of “it’s no big deal” or “it’s just a preference”). The only difference is that for every Bruce Lee (who ironically more or less INVENTED the “stoic/asexual kung-fu fighting Asian male” stereotype married to a white woman there are about 10 Constance Wu’s (and not just laypeople–I’m talking about nearly every “progressive” Asian Studies/Asian American Studies program in an American or Asian university). The only main difference, is that because of white, heterosexist patriarchy Asian men have the cards stacked against them (they are deemed less desirable by all races, including oftentimes Asian, yet are still expected to “approach” women individually despite structural racism. It behooves all “races,” but especially Asian after decades of colonialism, imperialism, neo-American imperialism to at least acknowledge how their most intimate desires and attractions are racialized along a hierarchy of perceived desirable/less desirable “color” (i.s., lighter = more desirable; darker = less desirable). Constance Wu is awesome in calling out the most overt anti-Asian white racism in Hollywood. She’ll be even more awesome if she calls out the most subtle anti-Asian/internalized racism dynamics that CAN come into play (if unexamined or acknowledged) within our most intimate lives.

  16. i think the writer actually is a white dude and not asian, considered how angry he is.

  17. @kifhalal
    & sharon chewung

    They are a little amount of asian male with white girl couple. Like bruce lee and his wife.
    The problem is they dont have these “loudest public voices on issues of Asian American representation” or “Strong advocacy for Asian American part” like Miss Wu

  18. Here’s what they meant by conflict of interest. Why feminism n a capitalist society will eventually fail. Sex is power this is as old as time. Those who act like none of this has an effect on who we choose to love,to overlook this people are seriously in denial. So many educated folks with great responses but not enough folks have common sense

  19. @kifahalal
    Thank you for opening my eyes to this issue. Your explanation makes so much sense in other arenas as well. I’m a cisgender female who has been groomed by a lifetime of heterosexual supremacy to accept this as the norm and preferred relationship status. (I mean, you would not believe how many generations of my family have perpetuated heterosexual relationships as the norm.)
    But now I pride myself on being an LGBT advocate and supporter of gay marriage. And even though I am attracted to cisgender males, I realize that in order to show that I am truly committed to this cause, I should marry a homosexual male. This will be the only way to convince people that I’m committed to my beliefs and philosophy, and that I’m not a pawn of centuries of brainwashing. People will only take me seriously if I practice what I preach, right?
    I mean, the next time that I’m advocating and I say, “I know because I married a gay man,” no one will be able to accuse me of being a traitor and hypocrite.

  20. whoever wrote this piece needs to be my new BFF…the end

  21. @Ginger Russell

    You’re analogy (and the author’s for that matter) isn’t apt, though. Because the stance put forth by those that take issue with Wu’s choice in dating partners is NOT “Person A who advocates for the issues of group X can only date person B if person B belongs to group X.” Neither is it “Person X who advocates for A cannot date Person Y who advocates for B when A is the antithesis of B.” (This applies to the Hilary-Trump example given by the author.)

    The actual statement put forth is closer to “Person X who belongs to group A and advocates for group A’s issues should avoid actions that reinforce the unequal power structures that are the root of group A’s issues.” Your own analogy would be more apt if you were a lesbian woman (I’m assuming you’re heterosexual since you state that you’re attracted to cisgender men) who advocates for LGBT rights but ends up marrying a man, thereby reinforcing a heterosexist society.

    Now, we can argue whether or not an Asian woman choosing to date a White man reinforces an unequal equal racial dynamic, but that’s probably best suited to it’s own YOMYOMF article and comment thread.

  22. I think a fair middle ground is to make sure she is actually for seeing Asian men doing well? The end of this constant emasculation? If she is let her do as she please but if not then its very well a problem. There is no denying there is a huge problem.

  23. People need to wake up and open their eye.
    ASIAN GIRLS ARE WORSHIPPING WHITE DUDES NOWADAYS.
    also HAVING WHITE FEVER

  24. Asian women like Constance wu are the most pathetic hypocritical uncle tom white worshiping sellouts. Asian women simply have no respect, pride or loyalty in their Asian heritage, culture, race or family. They all just want to be white and dilute their Asian genes away. Asian women prefer to be white mans whores than Asian mans wife.

  25. I don’t give a shit whose dick that whore is sucking, but stop pretending to be such an advocate for Asian issues. She’s nothing more than a house nigger, you know, those slaves who thought they were better than the slaves who worked the field just because they worked and lived in the house with their master.