Eddie Huang, upon whose memoir (and life) the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat is based, has always had a complicated relationship with the show. I recall that, before the show premiered, Huang was on Joe Rogan’s podcast with series star Randall Park (who plays the Dad) talking about developing the series. Huang basically suggested he thought his memoir was so authentic, so real, and so personal about the way he grew up in the 90s — and how he used hip hop to survive a dark childhood — that ABC would never sugarcoat the series or water it down.
He quickly learned otherwise, and as Park said in that podcast, he ended up brokering much of the conversation between Huang and the network, as the two sides disagreed about everything. Huang, however, reluctantly did the voice-over narration and agreed to help promote the series, although he did not, himself, hold back, basically calling a reporter racist at one point, and at another point, going on a tirade about a racist marketing campaign for the series on Twitter, callling the guy behind the tweet a “mouth-breathing psycho.”
But here’s the wrinkle: While Fresh Off the Boat does a very poor job of reflecting Eddie Huang’s experiences growing up in Florida, it’s still a very good, very cute family sitcom (with one of the most outstanding sex talks you’ll ever see on TV).
That, apparently, is not enough for Huang, who still — justifiably — feels burned by the series, and he admitted in a series of tweets that he doesn’t even watch the show.
Huang also had a few choice words for the Deadline critic who suggested that there may be too many minorities on television now.
He’s not wrong. It’s not a “great” comedy, but it is a good family sitcom on a network that, lately, excels at family sitcoms.