The cast of 'Kim's Convenience'
The cast of ‘Kim’s Convenience’ (Photo: GP Images/WireImage)

Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience may have ended its five-season run earlier this month, but the conversation about the show’s behind-the-scenes strife continues. Over the weekend, star Jean Yoon, who played matriarch Kim Yong-mi took to Twitter to back up co-star Simu Liu’s claims of diversity problems on the show. In a post responding to an opinion column about Liu’s “bitterness,” Yoon said that the lack of Korean female writers on the show made the experience of working on Kim’s Convenience “painful.”

Liu, who will soon appear as the lead in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, had previously posted on Facebook about his own frustrating experience on the show. “I remain fixated on the missed opportunities to show Asian characters with real depth and the ability to grow and evolve,” he wrote. He claimed that series creator Ins Choi did little to promote fellow Korean voices in the show’s writers room, a claim which Yoon backed up on Twitter, pointing to Choi’s diminished role compared to showrunner Kevin White.

“Mr. Choi wrote the play, I was in in,” she wrote in the same tweet thread. “He created the TV show, but his co-creator Mr. Kevin White was the showrunner, and clearly set the parameters.”

Yoon also claims that the cast expressed concern over what she calls “overtly racist” storylines in the Season 5 scripts they received in advance of filming during the pandemic. She describes one scene in which her character was to wear shorts that made her appear naked, which she found particularly offensive given the over-sexualization of Asian women.

“THAT scene would have aired hours after 8 people, 6 Asian women, were shot in Atlanta, GA in a hate crime spree that shocked the nation. THIS IS WHY IT MATTERS,” Yoon wrote. “If an Asian actor says, ‘Hey this isn’t cool,’ then maybe should just fix it, and say THANK YOU.”

In response to both actors’ allegations, the show’s official Twitter account posted screenshots of Kim’s Convenience writer Anita Kapila’s posts in support of the show. “Today I want to publicly acknowledge the women and BIPOC I was honoured to work alongside,” she writes alongside a list of writers, directors and crew members who worked on the show. “We were not perfect. But we were there.”

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