Fans react to revelations about ‘overtly racist’ storylines
CBC comedy about Korean-Canadian family living in Toronto has come to an end, with stars revealing show isn’t as inclusive as it looked
Korean-Canadian Comedy Kim’s convenience closed shop after five seasons, with some of its cast opening up about what happened behind the scenes.
Released in 2016 and based on the play of the same name by Ins Choi, the series follows the Kim family who run a convenience store in Moss Park, Toronto. The series ended earlier this year, having spawned a spin-off currently in production and focused on one of the show’s few non-Asian characters, Shannon, played by Nicole Power.
Earlier this month, some of the stars of the show weighed in on racist storylines and lack diversity. Simu Liu and Jean Yoon have expressed concerns about the predominantly white production and writing team.
‘Kim’s Convenience’ cast opens up on racist stories, is underpaid
Simu Liu, who will be the next star of the highly anticipated Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings, set the record straight on rumors that the series had ended because of his role in Marvel.
“I heard a lot of speculation around me – in particular, about how getting a role in Marvel meant I was suddenly too ‘Hollywood’ for Canadian television,” Liu wrote on Facebook last week.
“It couldn’t be further from the truth. I love this show and everything it stands for. I saw with my own eyes how deeply it touched families and brought people together. It’s really RARE that a show has such an impact on people today, and I really wanted the schedules to work, ”he continued.
The actor went on to express his frustrations with his character and the fact that the Canadian-Asian cast members were denied a more creative take on as the series progressed.
I WAS, however, more and more frustrated with the way my character was portrayed and, somewhat related, I was also increasingly frustrated with the way I was being treated, ”he said. .
“I always understood that the main actors were the stewards of the character and that they would become more creative as the series progressed. This was not the case on our show, which was doubly confusing because our producers were predominantly white and we were a cast of Asian Canadians who had a plethora of lived experiences to draw from and offer to writers … we were deliberately not given much leeway, ”he continued.
Liu also claimed that the actors were significantly underpaid compared to another CBC show, Schitt Creek, who boasted of “brand talent” but received ratings below Kim’s convenience, according to Liu.
For his part, Yoon lamented the lack of Asian female writers on the series and defended Liu’s claims.
Your attack on my casting mate @SimuLiu, in defense of my fellow Korean artist Ins Choi is neither useful nor deserved. Mr. Choi wrote the play, I was in it. He created the TV show, but his co-creator, Mr. Kevin White, was the showrunner and clearly set the parameters.
– Jean Yoon (윤 진 희 or 尹 真 姬) (@jean_yoon) June 6, 2021
“[A]s an Asian-Canadian woman, a Korean-Canadian woman w more experience and knowledge of the world of my characters, the lack of Asian women especially Korean writers in the Kims Writers’ Room made my life VERY VERY HARD and the experience of working on it show painful, ”wrote the actress.
‘Kim’s Convenience’ fans shocked to learn of BTS racist incidents
It was a huge surprise for me. I loved all of these actors and hope they find roles in shows that don’t disregard their culture. Too bad.
“‘Kim’s Convenience’ stars say show had ‘overtly racist’ stories, lacked representation” https://t.co/5oCrfyVlMS
– Lock Robster (@ RobPierre1) June 8, 2021
Liu and Yoon’s revelations shocked some fans of Kim’s convenience.
“It was a huge surprise for me. I loved all of these actors and I hope they find roles in shows that don’t disregard their culture. What a pity, ”wrote one Twitter user.
I liked Kim’s Convenience but didn’t notice any racist attitudes. If the actors felt it then I’ll have to agree with them.
– Ruth Schneider (@ RuthSch04593054) June 8, 2021
“I liked Kim’s Convenience but didn’t notice any racist attitudes. If the actors felt it, I’ll have to agree with them, ”another comment said.
Some, however, are not surprised at the lack of diversity behind the scenes. In addition, some criticized the decision to give Liu, a Chinese-Canadian actor, a Korean role.
With all due respect to the convenience of Kim, which is my second favorite show, and the racist allegations made against her, especially by Simu Liu, isn’t it surprising that a chinese playing a korean character laments on representation. STRANGE AF.
– Alesha Pimpale (@AleshaPimpale) June 8, 2021
“With all due respect to the convenience of Kim being my second favorite show and the racist allegations made against her especially by Simu Liu, is it not surprising that a Chinese playing a Korean character laments over representation. STRANGE AF, ”one commentary reads.
The convenience of Kim being written by racists is not at all surprising. How did you see the snippet that Netflix has for this ?? Like when you hover your cursor over the title of the show ??? Yeah it was awful.
– Mrs. minatozaki (@tzuylor) June 8, 2021
“Kim’s convenience being written by racists is not at all surprising. How did you see the snippet that Netflix has for this ?? Like when you hover your cursor over the title of the show ??? Yeah, that was excruciating, ”pointed out another fan of the problematic synopsis used on Netflix, distributing the title outside of Canada.
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