Kim’s Convenience was a massive success when the sitcom was released in 2015. Since then, we have gotten 5 seasons of Kim family antics with the final season now coming to Netflix after ending its broadcast run. Actor Simu Liu, Shang-Chi and Jung Kim star, was not happy about the show ending while putting on blast the producers and a proposed spinoff series.
Following the story of a Korean immigrant family, Kim’s Convenience was a critical and ratings success. Featuring an all-Asian cast, trials and tribulation of keeping a 1st generation Canadian family functioning in the modern world was portrayed in the show. Simu Liu was one of the main characters of the show, playing Jung Kim, a troublesome teenager who was kicked out of his home after stealing from his father. Throughout the run of the series, we saw Jung working at a rental car company.
All five seasons of Kim’s Convenience are now available for streaming on Netflix. On the eve of the fifth and final season coming to the streaming platform, the Shang-Chi star took to Facebook and shared a long post detailing unfair practices, lack of diversity in the writer’s room, dirt-cheap contracts, and his feelings regarding the producers giving the only white lead of the show a spinoff of her own.
Kim’s Convenience Spinoff Anger By Shang-Chi Star – Faux Diversity and Representation in Lip-Service Only
Shang-Chi actor Simu Liu was furious after Kim’s Convenience spinoff announcement. Plus detailed difficult behind the scene struggles.
Image Source: CBC
Studios and industries are learning representation matters. Fast & Furious is a global franchise with massive income coming from outside of the America because of the diverse cast of the film franchise (flying cars help too). Crazy Rich Asians broke many records with no white character of note appearing, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be a massive success too when the movie arrives later this year.
The film industry is slowly moving towards more inclusivity (there is still a long way to go) but TV has been a little resistant to change. There are only a handful of shows and that have minority actors in the lead roles, even the ones that do have minorities in prominent roles, the rest of the cast does not exude change or inclusivity.
There are also issues in the writer’s room and jobs behind the camera. Whenever a show with minority lead is brought to the forefront little or no writing staff is of the race being portrayed on screen. This leads to stunted story beats and stereotypical portrayal of an entire race. Never Have I Ever on Netflix was a beacon of change last year, something fresh and exciting with people of color behind and in front of the camera doing the subject matter justice.
While it all appeared to be an amazing time for us fans while watching Kim’s Convenience, there were some serious problems brewing behind the scene. Simu Liu came on Facebook and elaborated on his previous disgruntlement following the cancelation of the show. The actor explained how a show about Koreans has one single writer of Korean origin and detailed years of low payments as well as being locked in dirt-cheap contracts.
Watch: The trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
It all sounds too familiar, a bunch of producers profiting off of struggling Asian actors. They signed on to do the show at lower rates because getting a job was more important than getting large checks from the get go. Even after the show was more successful than American shows, the cast was getting paid next to nothing while they were pitted against one another so a collective effort to get a pay hike would not happen.
Lack of voices in the writer’s room also led to what fans consider a degradation of characters on screen. From a hysterical family, they were turned into a stereotype of a fresh off the boat bumbling idiots with no development of character. Jung especially was stuck in a rut, in the first episode he was working in Handy, by the end of 5 seasons he was still there.
The father-son conflict we were shown in the first season was nowhere near resolved, instead Simu’s screen time was decreased. Kim’s Convenience is hilarious, but as I am rewatching the show again, it does not feel like I am laughing with the Kim’s or even some of their missteps. Instead, I was catching myself laughing at them for the idiots they were portrayed as in the latter seasons.
That is neither diversity nor representation, all it does is embolden the stereotypes people already hold. Still, a show is not meant to last forever, Kim’s Convenience came to a screeching halt in 2020 after the fifth season. Simu Liu expressed his sadness for not being able to continue the story of Kim family to a better or deserved conclusion. But what made things worse was when the producers of the show decided to spinoff Sharon’s character into a show.
The only white cast member of Kim’s Convenience was getting her own spinoff show after the beloved original was canceled. The Shang-Chi actor explained while he was happy for the actress who he described as extremely deserving and nice; the whole spinoff idea was bad. An Asian family built a brand with next to nothing pay, and here come the white people profiting off their hard work and labor.
Sharon is a funny character that solely does not make it okay to spinoff her character into another show. Probably the pay is better for her as well so you can see where the anger of the Marvel actor is coming from. Simu Liu has already said he will not be part of the spinoff, even if the producers asked, the actor said he is not interested.
The Chinese born Canadian actor is currently gearing for the release of his Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He will be the first actor of Asian origin to lead a Marvel movie when the film arrives on 3 September 2021. So, it is safe to say Simu Liu does not need to appear in a Kim’s Convenience spinoff, the actor is on his way to greater heights.
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