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Jean Yoon Said Working On "Kim's Convenience" Was "Painful" And That Some Of The Original Season 5 Storylines Were "Overtly Racist"

Jean Yoon Said Working On "Kim's Convenience" Was "Painful" And That Some Of The Original Season 5 Storylines Were "Overtly Racist"

WitlessCanuck

To make it clear there is no “side in this” from the perspective of the Reddit - we’ll sticky Jean’s comments as well. If this continues with actors coming forth with their opinions - we’ll do our best to highlight. It’s important to highlight all sides of the story so that the fans can have a clear picture. It’s important to note we’ve only heard from three cast members in some form at this point in regards to this topic. Simu, Jean and Andrew. If the other cast don’t choose to participate please do not harass their socials. It is important to note there is clearly resentment and emotions involved in this. The show mattered a lot to a lot of people, and in a lot of different ways. It’s not the moderators job nor anyone on Reddit to truly have full knowledge of what went on. We just ask that everyone be respectful of all members and not attack, incite, or head to their social media pages in a negative way. It’s also important to note that Nicole Power and the Strays spin-off cast is *not* to blame for the tension that occurred in the writers room between cast and the writers of Kim’s. Please do not harass or attack the actors of the new show as they are just artists that got offered to work on what would have been a show set alongside Kim’s. They likely would have had no power or knowledge that this was occurring or a thing. Thanks everyone, and despite this needing to be discussed and giving voice to people that deserve representation, please just try and keep this subreddit positive and friendly. You can have differing opinions, but we love and are fans of the show for a reason. Don’t let negatives detract from the positives that this show has done, and thankfully it has given voices to the cast that are now speaking out as they go onto bigger and better things with more people who can support and love them! Say what you feel, but please don’t be combative and spread the love, not hate.


CptBarba

Holy shit. That's way worse than I thought it would be


Flutegarden

Wow! This might also be why the show ended. Too much internal strife.


WiiAreAllCrossing

Yeah. I imagine Ins Choi was exhausted of always having Korean stories sidelined for what non-Korean writers wanted, and decided after Season 5 he couldn't take it anymore.


comeonpalfugume

Definitely makes more sense now. Sucks that he was the one who was vilified for cancelling the show, initially. Being a fellow Korean-Canadian in the media industry, I can definitely relate to some of the things he might have gone through. Sometimes we (Canadians) like to think race shouldn't matter, but it definitely does in these type of industries, where being a visible minority makes you invisible & voiceless.


AdSignificant6673

Its unfortunate he got vilified… I know we Asian’s hold a high standard for each other. Its unfortunate we have to try and represent a good example that goes above and beyond. Its that whole “coloured folk gotta try harder”. Ins Choi … i think if he fought harder , he could have fixed this. But he is only human.


Binkyman69

Took that paycheck for 5 seasons.


thejesusfish

Buddy...if your reaction is to quit your job every time you encounter adversity in the workplace...I have some bad news for you when you enter the workforce.


Binkyman69

Been working for 30 years. But thanks for the concern


mongrol-sludge

Found the white man.


Binkyman69

Black men cant work for 30 years?


Binkyman69

Wow...racist downvote


Binkyman69

Found the bigot


boxingjazz

Well THAT certainly escalated quickly. Opinion seems to have shifted from, “Oh no! How could such a good show be ending so abruptly like this, especially when it’s still so popular?”, to, “Oh no! How could such a good show have lasted so long with such internal strife and with a show runner who seemed to have nothing but bad intentions for the show, the cast and crew, and the Asian community (and particularly the Korean community) as a whole?”, within a matter of weeks. It’s an also an F-U to the fans as well, as it seems that, following the first few seasons, the intelligence, warmth, and heart of the show that all made us fall in love with the show in the first place began to suffer in quality. I only discovered the show a few weeks ago, and I’ve been watching it S-L-O-W-L-Y (still on Season 1) precisely because I enjoy it so much. I fear that I might be biased now, and won’t enjoy them as much as I would’ve otherwise, had I not read about the controversies involved. We’ll see. Shoutout to the wonderful cast of actors and crew, who remained consummate professionals working at a place that not only seemed to no longer be a fun place to work, but had become downright toxic, and probably not a good place to be from a mental health standpoint.


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boxingjazz

I’m with you. Had NO idea who Simu Liu was when I saw the trailer for “Shang-Chi”. I’m not even sure that I’d heard of “Kim’s Convenience” up to that point. That was probably what made me finally stop to watch the pilot as I was scrolling through Netflix. I also find it fascinating (and kinda AWESOME) that they plucked a relatively unknown actor from an ensemble sitcom produced in Canada, and BOOM! made him a Marvel Superhero headlining his own $150 million Disney film.


pinkertondiamond

*I also find it fascinating (and kinda AWESOME) that they plucked a relatively unknown actor* I had a discussion with my friends about this but they didn't necessarily "pluck a relatively unknown actor" they had no CHOICE. With the industry as it is, there are hardly any prominent male Asian American actors and even LESS leading men, and the ones with any kind of star power are too old to play the role. I'm also 90% positive they limited their casting choices to ONLY Chinese actors and actors who are not mixed (a lot of Hollywood casting touts promoting Asian diversity but will then cast asian/white mixed actors who have a more white passing face ie. Daniel Henney, Lewis Tan, Charles Melton, Ross Butler, Henry Golding, etc.) which skews the pool even smaller because there's a huge controversial debate in the Asian community about casting Korean actors as Japanese, SEA as Korean (ie. the actor who plays Kimchee ), Koreans playing Chinese, etc. and also Hollywood obviously favoring "white passing" Asians over "East-looking" Asians. So I feel like the casting is less about choosing an unknown actor but given that it's called "SHANG-CHI" and seems heavily tied to Chinese culture, it was about casting in a socially responsible way and so with that in mind, if you think about all the East Chinese English speaking actors with any kind of prominence who can act? It was always going to be Simu.


beari69

Ditto on how Hollywood always endorsing European mixed Asian actors rather than Asian Asian. When Henry Golding became the new hot thing in Hollywood after Crazy Rich Asians, my non-Asian friends were raving about it and about how they didn’t realize Asian guys can-be-that-hot, and expected me to be proud about it. As an east Asian guy myself, I couldn’t help but being bitter, first of all because none of that was considered a compliment to me, secondly I know they only saw him as attractive because he’s tall with a big jaw line, straight nose, deep-set eyes, prominent facial hair and a British accent, all if those attribute to the masculinity standard of the western world that has nothing to do with Asian descent. I was beyond glad when Marvel casted Simu for the title role.


fogcityrunner

I found this ridiculous as well, they casted a Malaysian half white half islander/native to play a singaporean chinese guy. My first thought was, this guy doesn't even look chinese. Like yeah I'm sure some chinese people might look like him but then I looked him up and I was like "they couldnt just cast a chinese actor to play him?" I watched the first part of that movie and I just couldn't take how he resembled like nothing to his family. Not bitter or anything, but I hate how successful this movie came out to be especially shortly after how we learned about constance wu's antics.


maoMeow14

I actually find Simu insanely hot as well...


wooferino

Yikes, those friends seem like dicks. Hope you’ve got better company around you now friend


beari69

They’re not dicks. Theyre just simple minded. 😂


boxingjazz

Wow. That’s really well put. And something I hadn’t really considered (which speaks to my ignorance on the issue of Asian representation in Hollywood). Which of course leads into this is precisely WHY representation is important. Kim’s Convenience is a damn good show. But I’ve probably scrolled past it a THOUSAND times on Netflix. It wasn’t until I saw the trailer for “Shang-Chi” that I’d even HEARD of Simu Liu. But the trailer got me interested enough to start reading up on him a little bit. Of course the first thing that comes up is “Simu Liu of “Kim’s Convenience”. So the next time I was on Netflix, and I invariably scrolled past the show again, this time I stopped and said, “Lemme check out an episode, see if it’s funny”. And I was hooked from the first episode. It’s that simple. And now I want to see what else Paul Sun-Hyung Lee has been in (and I am REALLY down for a campaign to get him more appearances in Star Wars). But the talent is there. It’s ALWAYS been there, they just aren’t getting the opportunities. One of the things I appreciate about Kim’s Convenience is that the premise could be adapted for just about anywhere, and it could be a family from just about any background, but they chose a Korean family, and though some of the episodes and the humor come out of that experience, the humor is not making fun of that. It’s not exploitative. And I feel like participating in this sub is educational for me as well. Your response is a perfect example of that education.


cire1184

Simu campaigned for the Marvel role. Not sure how hard but he really wanted to do an Asian-American superhero.


PlumsweetSoda

Similar boat to you. I'm on season 2 and honestly came to the sub to see if I could complain about Gerald spoiler free as he's a little too much incel like for me to enjoy his character and I ended up finding out this show was a negative experience for multiple cast members. Heart breaking to hear. I'm still going to watch it but I'm going to be a little more aware of what I'm laughing at since it seems the Korean show runner wasn't actually allowed as much input down the line which is pretty fucked.


PMmeifyourepooping

Alright I’m only on season 2, and I think I’ll try to finish it out but we’ll see, and I’m thrilled to hear that my redpilldar wasn’t off on Gerald. I won’t tell my fiancé because I don’t want to spoil (I just got MS spoiled and I regret coming here) but I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who found him... more off putting than quirky.


zarinfabrics

I want Netflix to buy the IP rights and rehire the cast, giving them producer/writer credits along with leading it. I feel like as long as we have Umma and Appa it could work. After all of this, they deserve the creative right to continue on in their own way. It sad they dealt with this overall but especially because it was unknowingly their last season.


GOD-PORING

Netflix presents: Kims in Toronto


WiiAreAllCrossing

YES!


hohoholden

Yes, and please maybe somehow >!reverse Umma's MS diagnosis? I haven't watched season 5. I'm just thinking of what Jean Yoon [recently tweeted](https://twitter.com/jean_yoon/status/1401637252242018308?s=19): “And I’m sick of holding this back — Koreans hardly ever get MS: 0.1/100,000 or one in a million.” Implying that she had raised an issue about the accuracy of this storyline, Yoon said the producers dismissed her concerns, claiming she “doesn’t understand comedy.”!<


Calgamer

Well they reversed the possible Raj recoupling and the possible Gerald-Janet love storyline within like minutes of the start of S5, so anything is possible


wanderingvilla

That makes me worry though, I just read an article about how the cast of Selena was treated badly and paid poorly by Netflix compared to other shows that center around “white” culture and cast.


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Lilyblossom94

Please explain how desiring that the talented main Asian Canadian cast have writing roles and credits in a revamped series is a bad thing. Seems like the problems started when Ins Choi stepped back and the other (white) producer started his BS.


Joliet_Jake_Blues

Read the article, the current seasons have racist storylines per the actors. If you want a stand alone 6th season, that's a different issue, the original 5 seasons should be pulled.


viniltummala

This is truly heartbreaking


KingGunda

Even if it wasn't canceled, I wouldn't want this show to continue at this point. The fact that the cast went through this much isn't justifiable at all.


LizFrance

It's not even funny. I'm watching now. I feel sorry for the cast. They don't even look happy. And sometimes look like they're trying to act enthused.


throwawayamasub

do you have any examples of this? never noticed it before


ggrc

Definitely noticeable in season 5 and the one before that. I’m on the last episode and I thought they all look annoyed.


PlumsweetSoda

Damn I just started watching this but I'm only on season 2. Does it get progressively worse since I see season 5 being mentioned a lot?


SnooSketches3750

No, it's really good. But the chemistry in season 5 is way off. You can tell something happened behind the scenes.


PlumsweetSoda

I've made it to season 4 and can already feel some of the chemistry suffering. I'm gonna finish up the show but it's kind of a struggle. A shame because this show started out with so much heart


tastienuggies99

Season 4 is arguably nthe worst season. Season 5 was really good.


nastaliiq

Late, but I too would appreciate some examples


7screws

my hope would be, that Netflix buys the rights, bring back the actors, and hires new show runners and writers, give the actors producer credits, give them one more season at least to do it their way.


KingGunda

I don't know if Ins is willing to sell the rights to Kim's tbh. I'm sure CBC would have tried to buy it from him and then bring on new writers and show runners. Especially because it's been so successful globally, but who knows he might sell for the right price?


7screws

I mean everyone has their price. It doesnt seem like Ins left on good terms, so who knows. its a shame.


WiiAreAllCrossing

Thank you Jean Yoon for speaking out and standing up for your coworker, but also the show. And for naming the true perpetrator - Kevin White. Nude shorts . . . maybe Kevin White ought to wear them to an interview to explain himself. I thought Choi was the showrunner, I didn't realize White was. That explains so much.


mikechimike

There's more to it. There's a reason why "the producers" is mentioned so much. Looking at the power structure, these articles will give you some insight. [https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/article-the-abrupt-end-of-kims-convenience-why-did-cbc-cancel-its-beloved/](https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/article-the-abrupt-end-of-kims-convenience-why-did-cbc-cancel-its-beloved/) [https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/ivan-fecan-the-producer-behind-high-stakes-cbc-show-kims-convenience/article32163453/](https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/ivan-fecan-the-producer-behind-high-stakes-cbc-show-kims-convenience/article32163453/) Two articles written about Kim's Convenience, 5 years apart, by the same journalist, with a focus on the same man. Isn't it weird that "no cast" was available for comment? That's all they were doing in that time. Isn't it also weird that the producers haven't commented since?


PineapplePizzaAlways

Initially he was paired up with a more experienced showrunner but after the first couple of seasons why didn't they trust him to get the job done, or bring in a second Asian showrunner?


didijxk

Yikes, that was horrifying to read.


WackyNephews

I’m incredibly disappointed in finding out Kevin White is like this. I worked on Corner Gas and really enjoyed the people I worked with. I was so happy when he had the one-two success with this and Schitt’s Creek.


SJaneSmith

I loved Corner Gas!


matthieuC

So that's the link. I'm just starting the show and it reminded me of a more gentle Corner Gas.


anonamus7

Are there spoilers for season 5 in this article? Just want to know if I can read it now or if I should save this and read it after I watch the new season.


adsfew

There actually *are* spoilers of a powerful S5 scene.


rainy_oregon

What am I missing? Are you referring to how Season 4 ended?


adsfew

>!"In the final bedroom scene in S5, Mrs. Kim weeps because she believes that God has abandoned her. The more she prays for something, the more certain it will get worse."!<


rainy_oregon

No spoilers from the show that aired. There's a mention of one story line that was cut.


anonamus7

Thanks a lot


rainy_oregon

I'm really sorry but as others have pointed it, I goofed up! I hope you didn't read the article or if you did, it didn't spoil everything. :(


beari69

Lmao yes there was, Mrs. Kim’s health issue is the big spoiler


Nol_Astname

Just out of curiosity, in a chain obviously about someone trying to avoid spoilers, why would you post the spoiler without spoiler text?


beari69

Because it’s not a spoiler??? Do you watch the show? Mrs Kim has problems since season 4, it’s season 5 that they gave her an official diagnosis.


Nol_Astname

I only recently started watching so I'm not up to season 4


beari69

Yet you’re in a thread discussing season 5 😂 get out


Nol_Astname

Yeah, I mean since I'm just hearing about what was happening behind the scenes I was curious about the article. I would have read if it was spoiler free, which it sounds like it is not.


Diregnoll

That's still really on you. It's a bit naive to really think actors annoyed about the cancelation and mistreatment aren't going to give examples of the show thus spoilers. Besides a show is about the journey and even in season one (where i am aswell) they heavily foreshadow something will happen. People need to get over "spoilers" and just enjoy the ride to them.


beari69

She was frustrated about how season 4-5 went, so you have to finish it before you read her tweets to avoid spoilers


Nol_Astname

Yep gonna keep watching! Liking it so far


hypoboxer

I found this show in February of last year and binged what I could because I loved the dynamics of the Kims. Shortly after my first binge session I joined this sub. One of the things I started seeing were folks here asking "why isn't this getting attention on social media" because it was so good. I find it ironic that it is getting online attention, but because of the sad behind the scenes ending to a great show.


Diregnoll

I just found it cause amazon recommended it to me on netflix. Odd how amazon knows me more than netflix. Honestly thought it was a corner gas spin-off at first.


skywithpoems

This is all making me so sad. I just assumed Kim's Convenience was perfect...


misken67

Yeah, even when the quality went down in season 3 I didn't think it was about all this. I will still be able to enjoy the show I think, the cast worked really hard to give us these five seasons after all. But it's still super sad, since this show had some much potential.


LizFrance

Heartbreaking. Truly. 😥😥😭


adsfew

>But S3 & S4 in particular had many moments of dismissal & disrespect as an actor, where it mattered, with the writers. And the more successfully I advocated for my character, the more resistance and suspicion I earned from the Writers/Producers. I would love to hear more about the changes behind the scenes of seasons 1 and 2 compared to 3 and 4. Seasons 1 and 2 were fantastic with good humor and heart, while seasons 3 and 4 felt more like a generic sitcom; I thought season 5 was a bit of an improvement and according to Yoon, Choi took more control for that season.


Stonetheflamincrows

When I recommend Kims to people I say it’s a great show for the first two seasons and a good show for the last 3.


SadieSadieSnakeyLady

Omg


lokingfinesince89

Damn to think we were all so happy to have a show representing minorities what a disaster


suicide_aunties

"Show representing minorities has a racist take towards minorities" is not a good look, is it. Such a 360 from when KC won its initial bunch of awards.


Leginabin

The fact that they made a white man the show runner on a show about a Korean-Canadian familys experience should baffle anyone. I would like to know what the writers and producers think about this situation


dogqthrowaway484

Can an Asian person not be a show-runner for a non-Asian sitcom?


NoKiaYesHyundai

My family who watched the show more consistently than me told me, that while they liked the show, then didn’t like how some things in it weren’t accurate. It makes sense to me now why :/


not_a_flying_toy_

this reminds me, I saw a complaint (maybe here, maybe elsewhere) from first generation korean-canadians and korean-americans that the accents of the parents in this show were very caricatured, as were some of the habits, which lead to some of them having mixed feelings on the show. I dont know if that was intentional or a side effect of cast all being born in canada, but still This is very saddening to read. Its hard to imagine why the cast werent more engaged or listened to on racist storylines, and why the producers didnt try to work more within the asian-canadian community to keep it accurate. Like I know plenty of people had complaints about Pixar's Soul, but Pixar knew they lacked that representation within their writing groups and formed committees and brought people in to make sure they did right by the black community. And they mostly succeeded. It would have been great for the CBC to do the same here


purplejilly

Well this makes me respect Jean even more as an actress. I felt her performance in Season 5 was stellar, and to know that she was feeling so uncomfortable and was fighting to have dignified and culturally appropriate storylines just makes her performance that much better. I am truly shocked at the composition of the writer’s room. I assumed there were some korean writers besides Ins Choi. At least some Koreans and at least one female korean. But no!!


mikqmas

Then the producers basically trying to gaslight Jean Yoon's point by tweeting this: [twitter](https://twitter.com/KimsConvenience/status/1401716761511268356?s=20)


AdSignificant6673

Ahh… so that explains why the Netflix choose a trailer that shows a girl acting as a dumb ass overly exaggerated Japanese caricature. They really needed a super stereotypical “me so solly!” Character to tell the world “hey look… funny asians in here! Asian lolz watch this!”.


LizFrance

I never got that! It's so obviously Japanese, not Korean!!!! I've never seen Koreans portrayed like that or seen that when actually....in Korea.


Li-renn-pwel

Yeah I’m neither Korean or Japanese, just someone from a very Asian part of Canada. When I saw this episode I remember thinking that I didn’t know Korean and Japanese had such overlap in their street fashion.


hiplycynical

Honestly, that trailer put me off of watching the show for the longest time!


AdSignificant6673

Its not… the Asian’s representation here is good except for that one girl… she was more of a dumb ass comedic relief type of side show that was on only ONE episode. But the trailer made it seem like she was the main character.


Li-renn-pwel

For real! When I saw the trailer I thought it was about a Korean girl coming to live with her Korean-Canadian relatives. Which would be a cool premise but very different than the actual show.


ABBAaddict93

This!! I have watched every season and the trailer recently came up on my Netflix. It’s such an inaccurate representation of the show and such a caricature. I found it really jarring


grittypigeon

I found it more strange that it was the ONLY thumbnail trailer for all 5 seasons. It seemed ridiculous not to mention annoying af.


Familiar-Soup

I KNOW. I really wanted to get my husband to watch this show with me, but the Netflix trailer turned him off. I had happened to watch the show without seeing that terrible trailer, but if that's what I'd seen first, I would never have watched.


FunboyFrags

To me she is still Captain of the Martian battleship Donnager from The Expanse.


generalkriegswaifu

Yao and Lopez need a prequel spinoff.


Kai_Emery

I heard back during season 3 that there was talk from some actors that the show was more racist than it looked at first glance, I’m sadly not surprised but I am VERY disappointed.


PrizPraz

Gotta be honest, the last couple of seasons felt empty. They weren't as funny and there was little character development. Nothing really changed or evolved. Just the same recycled jokes from early seasons. CBC definitely dropped the ball. They should have went the Lindelof route and hired writers that reflect the characters on the show.


DisruptSQ

Thunderbird Entertainment dropped the ball


Hopeful-Pollution

https://time.com/6072074/kims-convenience-racism/ https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-06-07/kims-convenience-simu-liu-jean-yoon-netflix%3f_amp=true Considering that major media outlets like Time magazine as well as the LA Times are now addressing the controversies surrounding the show, sooner or later the show runners have to respond right ? There's no way this will just go away on its own


DisruptSQ

If the showrunners are as reclusive as claimed in the article, they'll hide behind their cast and let them fight the fires. They could defend themselves but may try for better optics with W(OC) defending them.


WiiAreAllCrossing

Lol someone can ask Kevin White when he gives an interview promoting strays . . . or maybe he'll leave promotion entirely to Nicole Power.


norafromqueens

They did via that tone deaf tweet recently about having a South Asian writer.


phasmy

White men really ruin everything. It's ridiculous how rare it is to find shows or films with Asian (BIPOC in general) actors as part of the main cast so I was happy when I found this show at first. We are seeing more and more representation recently thankfully. People who say why does it matter -- Representation matters.


BackhandQ

Behind-the-scenes things were a shit-show! Surprising the show even went as long as it did. No one really seemed happy.


pileodung

Honestly. I can see this. I'm really disappointed how the show is ending. And I 100% understand the resentment of a white person being offered a spin off. If anyone deserves it, I think a show on Appas childhood/teen years would have been classic. He was hands down the funniest person on the show.


AverageWayOfThinking

I saw an episode of this with my partner the other day. It didn't make sense to us that the mother would call the father "dad", and that they spoke broken English all the time (instead of Korean, like an immigrant family would normally). From the first episode, it sounded like this was written by white people to laugh at Asian stereotypes.


aleu44

I still haven’t watched season 5 and I don’t think I can after hearing this news


beari69

Didn’t she say Season 5 was better bc Ins Choi took control again and he listened to the cast concern?


docfarnsworth

I thought season 5 was the worst personally


beari69

Yes, i think so simply because some certain character is weirdly being the utterly worst human being. If you know what i mean. They might have managed to remove the problematic parts, but the rest was still poorly written


nastaliiq

Which character in particular?


MetazoanMonk

WTF


JoieDeVivre24

Dang


UNLUCKY_NUM13ER

It truly saddens me to read these negative experiences from the cast. Kim's convenience was a truly refreshing show that appeared to be culturally diverse and different than what Hollywood typically produces. They should have taken more input from such a diverse cast.


[deleted]

Netflix have same showblike this with latin family, its called gentefied.... Its feel honest and fun then this


norafromqueens

I'm not shocked about this at all. I'm Korean American and I avoided this show for a long time after watching the first few episodes because it rubbed me the wrong way and there were so many inaccuracies. I started watching again due to the pandemic and sort of just suspended by disbelief to enjoy it more. But my parents and Korean American friends also kind of hate it. Kind of interesting to see some of the actors shared those frustrations. Sad but not surprising.


purplejilly

Im actually glad to hear this. I am white, and as I watched the show, i thought what I was seeing was a glimpse into korean culture and mindset. And some of the jokes were a little cringey, and a little childish, and a little bit mocking of modern ideas. And so I just assumed this was how Koreans were. Im actually happy to hear that the Koreans on the show were disturbed by some of it, because I was, too, and it was leading me to be judgey about Koreans. Its a little shallow of me to watch one Korean TV show and think “ok, so that’s how Koreans are”, but that happens all the time with TV shows. If you don’t hear otherwise, you assume it’s an accurate portrayal. Hopefully this will help future producers to be more inclusive in their writer’s rooms. And maybe it will empower future creatives who get their work picked up for tv shows to push the producers to let them have a more fully representative writer’s room.


suicide_aunties

This seems like the worst part of the show - it was constantly associated with minority and Canadian-Korean representation, but it ended up having negative connotations the minorities it wanted to portray. And you sound like a nuanced individual, but I'm sure plenty of others just adopted the judgement of Koreans outright and wouldn't chance upon this article.


Gadflyr

It is **not a Korean show**. A Korean drama is made in Korea for Koreans. Kim's Convenience is a Canadian show exploiting Asian characters by portraying them like clowns.


ontarioparent

I get where you are coming from, but from the beginning, despite my not so full knowledge of Korean culture, it just never sat right. It left me confused because the cast was Korean, so it seemed like it got the ok from the Korean community. I was left not feeling too sure about my gut feelings.


Gadflyr

I am East Asian and no Asian person I know ever watches this show. I watched 1/4 of an episode and found it so racist that it was almost unbearable. I am surprised that such a show was allowed to be made in Canada, and in CBC of all places. However, as an ethnic minority, I am also very used to this and there is nothing we can do.


ontarioparent

I found this show sooo extremely cringey from the start, like a throwback in time. Some of the humour is good, but of the few episodes I’ve watched it’s like seeing the clock turned back in time. I’m trying to watch it now as it’s been so popular.


norafromqueens

Agreed. I sometimes felt like people were laughing at the characters, not with them.


SnowDay111

Simu is a star in the making, sounds like the Kevin White fuck that relationship up. You think he's going to want to work with them again?


IrregularBobcat

Wow, the actors are going scorched earth and you can't even blame them. I absolutely loved S1 & S2, but S3 suffers quite a noticeable drop in writing quality. Not sure if I even want to bother finishing the show based on some of the things I've read.


Puzzleheaded_Bag_870

I thought it was sometime insensitive, but racist didn’t enter my mind. Much like -I guess - when others don’t think things they do are racist. I love this show.


jimmyPCrackhead

It’s heartbreaking to hear that a show I love is beset backstage by 1950’s attitudes towards Korean people and their culture… especially as the show is centred and built on Korean people and their people. To then not take the advice from the Korean actors is dumbfounding.


ColdHardPocketChange

So I know there's a subreddit for everything, but I just discovered this one today when googling to see if anyone else thought season 5 was a disaster. Thanks OP for sharing this, as it certainly helps put things in perspective and ease the disappointment. I certainly didn't know about the low incidence of MS in the Korean community till seconds ago, but I'm not sure the show would have made me think it's unusually high so I accepted it as the plot device that it was. There are plenty of other things in s5 that had me going, "wtf?" Spoiler list below: * >!Why is Janet suddenly bisexual or lesbian? There was no lead up. It felt cheaper then the MS plot. !< * >!Why Is Jung so dumb in S5? He typically a much more socially savvy character, but suddenly can't read Shannon at all? And he's borderline happy about the breakup?!< * >!The interaction between Jung and family about him taking over the business just seemed silly. His only alternative, as presented in the show, is continuing to work at Handy. !<


Sapceghost1

Jean Yoon is complaining because her character had MS but it's very rare in Koreans, or that there was a scene with nude shorts that never even got made? Therefore it's racist or inaccurate? I don't follow the logic. As for the writers mainly being white, well 95% of the cast is not white so sounds like it balances out to me. I'm disappointed they are throwing their toys out of the pram, it's spoiling the final season for me.


norafromqueens

I'm Korean American and there are so many inaccuracies in this show beyond the two examples you just mentioned. I chose to ignore and watch but I know many Koreans who can't even watch the show because they are glaring.


multigrain-pancakes

Can you give some examples? Because the example of nude shorts making all Asians seem dumb seems like a bit of a stretch.


norafromqueens

So I'm just speaking as a Korean American here...and I don't know if you know anything about Koreans, in general, but Koreans are a very very looks conscious people. Meaning, they care a ton about how they present themselves outwardly, in public, especially the older generation, because it says a ton about your education and social class. For example, when I wear a dress that's above my knees, my parents, even to this day, will tell me to wear tights/leggings underneath it because it makes me look cheap. It would be really unusual for someone of Mrs. Kim's generation to not realize that her pants make her look nude because literally every person in her family would grill her about it before she left the house...plus, she herself would already know this before that and not dress like that to begin with. It's just something so cultural, in terms of how people dress that would make this comedy really unlikely and far fetched. Basically Mrs. Kim behaving like that would give her a ton of social judgment and many people would think she is either stupid or a "loose" kind of woman.


multigrain-pancakes

Thank you for that insight. Obviously I don’t know the culture that much so i see now that I was being a bit ethnocentric (much like the writers, I suddenly realize). Now that it was explained, that makes total sense. I’m glad you responded.


soyeahiknow

I'm curious to know when exactly the show runners have more influence. I'm Asian and there were a couple episodes in season 3 and 4 where it felt "off" when I first watched it.


Mindless-Ad7048

I find it very convenient that all the negative talk is coming out once the show was cancelled. Probably cause there isn’t a paycheck to collect anymore. Look if you strongly believe the writers were mistreating you and it was racist - you should have left on principle. But if principle only matters when it’s convenient, it’s probably not principle.


c0wluvr

Or maybe bc they didn’t want to get fired 🤷🏻‍♀️


ppir

Not trying to trivialize their concerns but they suddenly got a lot more vocal once the show got canceled. Come across as very salty, and while I understand given the circumstances under which it was cancelled, I feel like it’s convenient to ignore those issues when profiting from them...


ookandkone

Or when you're scared that if you do speak up, you'll loose your job.


ppir

Yeah you're right. They didn't complain about how lopsided the writing on the show was or how it wasn't racially diverse it was when the show was on. And I understand - they don't want to lose their jobs. All I'm saying is if someone had the courage to complain about these things while the show was ongoing and they had more leverage, it would be more meaningful and they could actually enact a change. I find it amusing I'm getting downvoted just because I'm not sticking to the popular narrative or taking out my pitchforks for the shows writers


ookandkone

Having personally been in a workplace situation where I was being grossly mistreated, I can tell you it's not as easy as it sounds. Even though I had witnesses, and my superior was fully aware, no one said/did anything to try to try to change the circumstances. Thankfully, I'm not one to back down and I was able to advocate for myself, but it was an intense situation that on many days had me thinking quitting would be better. I didn't and I eventually won, but damn, it sucked. Edited to add... I didn't down vote you :)


10SS0012

I love the show, and I think Jean is being overly sensitive. So what if only 1 in a million Koreans get MS, they still get it. Does it really matter which disease they gave her? And the fact that there weren’t enough Korean, women writers in the writers room…please, Give me a break! The writers did a fantastic job making this a very funny show. Stop with the whining about racial, or gender quotas and just act! The writing is funny, that’s what matters. And to associate an episode or skit with the shooting in Atlanta is preposterous. People of all races get killed everyday, but now that #stopasianhate is the flavor of the month, it’s supposed to be a sacred cow? Really? Get a grip on reality people!


Firefly128

Actually I agree with you and I'm thinking of commenting something similar (not surprised you got downvoted though, I'd expect the same). As if the 1 Korean person in a million who gets MS doesn't matter? If anything, it'd give the potential to open up an even more impactful story. If you read stories of people with a disease that don't fit the usual profile, they have some real struggles that are worth listening to. It could've been good material to work with. It certainly isn't racist in any way. Neither was the shorts joke. Granted it didn't seem terribly funny, and more importantly it seemed way out of character for Mrs. Kim, but racist? Comparing it to pre-rape behaviour? Come on now. And the comparison to the Atlanta shootings was way off the mark - follow-up reports have said racism wasn't the motive; the guy had mental health issues centring on sex and these women all worked at massage parlours. The fact that real racism and discrimination exist, or that cast members were upset about various things, doesn't mean people should stop thinking critically about what these actors say. I haven't seen anything to back up allegations of racism so far, just a lot of being overly sensitive and reading discrimination into situations where it doesn't seem to have actually existed. The whole narrative around race these days seems to be "if an unpleasant thing happened to a non-white person, it's racism". No, no it's not, at least not always; I'd even say not often.


Joliet_Jake_Blues

Netflix needs to pull the show


VanHalen666

Things don’t quite add up. First of all, this is a highly successful series, so what are they blaming the writers for? For the success? Second, the actors are complaining they were not allowed to provide input into writing the script. They were hired to act, not write. Can you imagine, all employees of a company starting complaining because the CEO of the company does not allow them to set the strategy of the company. Third, it is not up to the actors to select the producers. It kind of works the other way around.


Dustmover

Well those two things aren't remotely comparable, because one is corporate where employees are largely interchangeable with other employees with the same skills, and the other is a joint creative enterprise where the cast is unique and their individual personalities and inputs matter. You can't simply switch out cast members. And producers may select the cast, but then they have to work together collaboratively to make the product. It is very normal for the cast to have a degree of creative input in their own characters and the script. Especially when the show is very about asian characters and experiences but none of the writers or producers are asian, and the script includes racist jokes about asians that the asian cast collectively object to. Again - collectively being the key word. This isn't just one uppity actor, they're grievances shared by the cast. And being expected to perform racist material without objection just because you were 'hired to act' is demeaning and not something any actor should be expected to put up with. As to the point about the series being successful, this is a joint success shared by all the parties, not just the production team. And it's pretty relevant to note that this success has been halted in its tracks due to creative differences caused by the production team refusing to take on board the concerns of the actors, leading to the show's cancellation.