Kim's Convenience star Jean Yoon speaks out on racist storylines and lack of diversity in writers' room
Yoon's comments come a week after her co-star Simu Liu criticised the producers of the show for the abrupt ending, lack of diversity and the decision to give spin-off to a non-Asian character
Yet another Kim's Convenience star has spoken out about her negative experience while working on the show. A week after Simu Liu's statements about the abrupt ending of the show in its fifth season, lack of diversity among the producers and behind-the-scene conflicts, Liu's co-star Jean Yoon has spoken out about her experience citing that there were "overtly racist" storylines that were cut from the final season.
While responding to an article about Liu's statements, Yoon wrote on Twitter “The lack of Asian female, especially Korean writers in the writers room of Kims made my life VERY DIFFICULT & the experience of working on the show painful.”
Yoon revealed that the cast of Kim’s Convenience received scripts for the season in advance due to the pandemic, and that they found the storylines to be "overtly racist and so extremely culturally inaccurate", and that the entire cast of the show expressed concerns over it.
Yoon went on to even cite an offensive joke that didn't make it to the cut. Yoon wrote, “Pastor Nina comes to the store to pick up Mrs. Kim for a Zumba class. Mrs. Kim is wearing NUDE shorts, and Pastor Nina is too embarrassed to tell her she looks naked from the waist down. Mr. Kim enters, and the joke is that if you’re married you can say anything. No one, esp. Mrs. Kim, would be unaware that a garment makes her look naked. Unless she is suddenly cognitively impaired. Or STUPID. Stripping someone naked is the first act before public humiliation or rape. So what was so funny about that? At my request, Mr Choi cut the scene. 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. If an Asian actor says, ‘Hey this isn’t cool,’ then maybe should just fix it, and say THANK YOU.”
Yoon also called out on her character's multiple sclerosis diagnosis and that she raised an issue about the inaccuracy of the storyline. She added that one of the producers dismissed her concerns claiming that she "doesn't understand comedy."
Earlier, Liu criticized the producers’ decision to end the show in such a manner, and the decision to develop a spinoff about Nicole Power’s character, the only non-Asian roles in the show. Liu also pointed out the lack of diversity in the writers’ room and the poor remuneration the actors were paid even after the series's massive success.
Based on Ins Choi's 2011 play, Kim's Convenience, produced by Ivan Feca, premiered in 2016. Although the sitcom was renewed for a sixth season, co-creators Choi and Kevin White decided to wrap up things with season five.