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When it was announced that ABC was finally pulling the plug on Fresh Off The Boat, a sizable number of people pointed a finger at Constance Wu. Trolls were out in full force, and even more rational folks may have wondered if the actress had something to do with its cancellation after her public outburst following a season renewal. Despite what others may think, ABC entertainment president Karey Burke has confirmed Wu had nothing to do with the network's decision to end the show.
Burke spoke to the media at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, and assured all in attendance the decision was not Wu's to make anyway. Instead, the ABC head said it was a mutual decision between two parties, and a feeling that Fresh Off The Boat had reached a natural conclusion.
Constance actually was incredible this season on the show, and we were thrilled to have her there. [Ending the series] really was a joint decision between us and [20th Century Fox] and the creators. [We all felt] that, given the life of these characters, it was time to move on. Eddie’s graduating from high school and moving out of the house. It just felt like it’s coming to its natural story conclusion.
Nearly a year since Constance Wu's online outburst, Karey Burke is maintaining that there are no hard feelings between the actress and the network. There's little reason to doubt Burke's words (via TVLine), as Fresh Off The Boat is primarily focused on Eddie. With Eddie graduating, there is a chance to bring the show to a natural end, which feels more important than ever before in an age where streaming becomes more relevant with each passing day. No one likes a show with an abrupt or rushed ending, and people may not binge it later knowing that that's how things end.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not this will silence those who think Constance Wu played a key role in the show's cancellation. One does have to wonder if it wasn't at least a factor discussed, considering that ABC has one of Hollywood's most-buzzed actresses on a sitcom that airs in the doldrums of Friday nights. Wu has had larger roles that she's thrived in and is likely getting offers for much bigger projects, which played a part in her outburst upon learning that Fresh Off The Boat had been renewed. There may be a day where people forget about this controversy, though it all still feels fresh enough for Karey Burke to be addressing it nearly a year later.
Fresh Off The Boat returns to ABC Friday, January 17. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series ahead of its final episodes, and for a look at what's happening with other shows and movies.