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Ali Wong Opens Up About the Hardest Part of Divorce

Ali Wong and ex-husband Justin Hakuta
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Wong also noted that she has been grappling with cultural and gender expectations since her divorce in 2022. The brunt of it came from her family, particularly her mother.

Ali Wong is opening up about the hardest part of her divorce — her mother's reaction.

After eight years of marriage, the comedian divorced her husband, Justin Hakuta, in 2022. During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Wong opened up about about the proceedings for the first time. She shared that she and Hakuta remain close beyond co-parenting their children.

“We’re really, really close; we’re best friends. We’ve been through so much together. It’s a very unconventional divorce," Wong said.

While the process has been amiable with Hakuta, Wong also noted that she has been grappling with cultural and gender expectations since their announcement last April. The brunt of it came from Wong's family, particularly her mother.

“I did not expect the announcement to be so widespread, but by far the hardest part about getting divorced was my mother’s reaction,” she explained. “I had told her before that I thought we might get divorced, and she was really upset. She looked me in the eye and asked, ‘Can you just wait until I die?’"

In many Asian cultures, divorce is seen as a taboo, particularly among older generations. Sara Davidson of the Asian Single Parents Network previously wrote that "marriage within the Asian community is considered sacred and even quintessential for a woman – divorce is seen as a sign of failure and divorcees are shamed and shunned for going against parents and cultural norms."

Wong felt the brunt of such stigma, continuing to say: "[My mother] was literally asking me to not live a life for myself. But she’s 82, what do I expect? She hasn’t had her period in 40 years. She’s in the shallows of senior citizenship. But it was still really f**king hard dealing with all her fear of the shame it would bring her."

Wong plans to address it in her upcoming dark comedy Beef, and summer stand-up tour, which Hakuta and the pair's children will be accompanying her for. Though her mother felt otherwise, Wong does not feel any shame for her divorce.

"What was kind of cool about the announcement was that [my mom] didn’t have to tell any of her friends. All of them found out because it made it to a bunch of the Chinese and Vietnamese newspapers ... and they all called her," Wong said. "She died a million deaths in one day and then woke up the next day and was like, ‘I survived.’"

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