eddie huang fresh off the boat tweets 'Fresh Off the Boat' author Eddie Huang backs away from the showEddie Huang has a tumultuous history with “Fresh Off the Boat,” the ABC sitcom based on his memoir of the same name. But it looks like he is separating himself from the series once and for all.

Prior to its premiere, Huang wrote an op-ed about his experience making the pilot. He praised ABC for putting an Asian-American family on television, but he also called ABC’s adaptation of his book “an entertaining but domesticated vehicle to sell dominant culture with Kidz Bop, pot shots, and the emasculated Asian male.”

RELATED: ABC missed the boat adapting Eddie Huang’s memoir

Huang later walked those comments back a little, telling the 2015 winter TV press tour that he wants to give “qualified support” to the show and make sure it “stays authentic” and “responsible to the book.” 

“I believe the show is doing that,” he said at the time. “I believe the show is very strategic and smart in how it’s opening things up.”

But that does not appear to be the case any more.

After Tuesday’s (April 7) episode, Huang posted a series of tweets distancing himself from the show.


Then after a short break, Huang wrote another small series of tweets that are more pointedly directed to the subject matter of the most recent episode.


What Huang seems to be referencing here is the domestic violence storyline in Tuesday’s episode. On the show, the younger version of Huang (Hudson Yang) has an actual accident — he trips over the cord for a mechanical bull at his father’s restaurant, Cattleman’s Ranch — but when young Eddie tells several lies at school of how he broke his arm, a school counselor calls Child Protective Services and they pay a visit to the Huang household.

In typical sitcom fashion, it’s all a big misunderstanding. Eddie’s father Louis (Randall Park) told him to lie about his accident — not because Louis broke Eddie’s arm, but because he doesn’t want Eddie’s mother (Constance Wu) to know he bought a mechanical bull.

However, the domestic violence issue is much different in the memoir.

Chapter 4 details the way Huang’s parents fought with each other and also occasionally raised their hands to their children, to the point where the police were called after his younger brother Emery showed up at school with scratches on his face from a steel brush.

Eddie and Emery lied to Child Protection Services about the injuries. Eddie in particular played a part in waving them off the abuse, though he admits in the memoir he knew what his parents were doing was wrong and he was “glad they got caught.”

“There’s a difference between hitting your kids to discipline them and kicking the living s*** out of them,” Huang writes, adding that the physical abuse was bad but the mental abuse was worse. His parents called him a “fan tong (rice bucket), fat ass or waste of space” sometimes.

He also details how at least twice a year, his mother Jessica would have a breakdown over how she wasted her life, as she was a highly intelligent woman whose life might have been very different if she hadn’t met Eddie’s father and gotten pregnant so young.

Huang interweaves these stories with commentary about how hip hop was such a huge influence and even an escape for him. It made him feel like there were people who understood what he was going through, which is probably what he is referencing in his tweet about hip hop and black culture.

The incident in the book ends with Huang saying that after the visit from the police, his mom changed a bit and “would try to temper” his dad when he hit the kids. But this isn’t what the TV show depicted at all. It instead did what Huang wrote about in his op-ed, which is turn his memoir “into a cornstarch sitcom.”

And it sounds like Huang is done with it, though there’s no word about whether he’ll continue doing voiceovers for the show should it be renewed. ABC and reps for Eddie Huang had no comment to Zap2it, and reps for executive producer Nahnatchka Khan had not replied as of publication.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."