Jean Yoon is the latest “Kim’s Convenience” star to speak out about her negative experience working on the series, citing “overtly racist” storylines that were cut from its fifth and final season, which recently premiered on Netflix.
Responding to an article about co-star Simu Liu’s statement regarding the abrupt conclusion and tension behind the scenes of “Kim’s Convenience,” 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.”
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According to Yoon, the “Kim’s Convenience” cast received scripts for the entire fifth season in advance due to the pandemic and “discovered storylines that were OVERTLY RACIST, and so extremely culturally inaccurate that the cast came together and expressed concerns collectively.”
Citing an offensive joke that was ultimately cut from the show, 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,” Yoon wrote. “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, [Ins] Choi cut [the] scene.”
Yoon continued, “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.”
Referring to her character Umma’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis, Yoon added, “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.”
Last week, Liu took to Facebook to criticize the producers’ decision to end the show and develop a spinoff about Nicole Power’s character, one of the only non-Asian roles in the show. Liu also revealed various conflicts between the cast and the show’s executives, pointing out the lack of diversity in the writers’ room and the “horsepoop rate” the actors were paid even after the series became a hit.
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