With the Netflix series Kim’s Convenience coming to its end with the fifth and final series, a duo of the show’s former co-stars have taken to social media to express their frustrations while working on the show, including racism and lack of inclusivity.
Simu Liu took to Facebook to write a detailed Facebook post, to express his feelings on the show coming to an end and clarifiyig the fact that this is the case because two of its key characters have departed.
Among the key number of thoughts he shared, he spoke of how their writer’s room “lacked both East Asian and female representation, and also lacked a pipeline to introduce diverse talents.”
He added, “Aside from Ins [the show’s original playwright], there were no other Korean voices in the room. And personally I do not think he did enough to be a champion for those voices (including ours). When he left (without so much as a goodbye note to the cast), he left no protege, no padawan learner, no Korean talent that could have replaced him.”
Furthermore, he was also growing “increasingly frustrated” with the way that his character was being portrayed.
He said that this, “was doubly confusing because our producers were overwhelmingly white and we were a cast of Asian Canadians who had a plethora of lived experiences to draw from and offer to writers. But we were often told of the next seasons’ plans mere days before we were set to start shooting… there was deliberately not a lot of leeway given to us.”
Jean Yoon followed suit and took to Twitter to write, “The cast received drafts of all S5 scripts in advance of shooting BECAUSE of Covid, at which time we discovered storylines that were OVERTLY RACIST, and so extremely culturally inaccurate that the cast came together and expressed concerns collectively.”
“This is a FACT that was concealed from us as a cast. It was evident from Mr. Choi’s diminished presence on set, or in response to script questions. Between S4 and S5, this FACT became a crisis, and in S5 we were told Mr. Choi was resuming control of the show.”
Following on from the co-stars social media posts, one of the show’s writers came forward on Twitter, receiving backlash as many have perceived the tweet as a poor form of ‘damage control’.
The writer of South Asian background, Anita Kapila wrote, “I became a writer because while I love telling stories, I hate being the centre of attention. But not wanting to be in the spotlight is not the same as being erased.”
She continued, “I loved working with every single writer who came into the Kim’s Convenience room, but today I want to publicly acknowledge the women and BIPOC I was honoured to work alongside. I’m sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone – please blame it on Vaccination mind fog.”
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