Don't Expect Simu Liu to Appear on the Kim's Convenience Spinoff: "I Adamantly Refuse"06/03/2021
When it was announced on March 8 that Kim’s Convenience would be ending after five seasons, the cast and fans alike couldn’t believe the news. At the time, star Simu Liu, who played Jung Kim on the show, wrote in a lengthy statement on Twitter about how “heartbroken” he was and that he was “proud of all that we accomplished.” Now, with the arrival of the show’s fifth and final season on Netflix, the 32-year-old actor is speaking out about the show’s untimely cancellation and the news of its upcoming spinoff based on the show’s one main non-Asian character.
“The show can’t be ‘saved.’ It was not ‘cancelled’ in a traditional manner, i.e. by a network after poor ratings. Our producers (who also own the Kim’s Convenience IP) are the ones who chose not to continue,” Liu wrote on Facebook on June 1. “Neither CBC nor Netflix own the rights to Kim’s Convenience, they merely license it. However, the producers of the show are indeed spinning off a new show from the Shannon character. It’s been difficult for me. I love and am proud of Nicole [Power], and I want the show to succeed for her . . . but I remain resentful of all of the circumstances that led to the one non-Asian character getting her own show. And not that they would ever ask, but I will adamantly refuse to reprise my role in any capacity.”
In his post, Liu put to rest rumors that his casting in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was part of the reasoning for the show’s cancellation. “I wanted to be a part of the sixth season. I’ve heard a lot of speculation surrounding myself — specifically, about how getting a Marvel role meant I was suddenly too ‘Hollywood’ for Canadian TV. This could not be further from the truth,” he shared. “I love this show and everything it stood for. I saw firsthand how profoundly it impacted families and brought people together. It’s truly SO RARE for a show today to have such an impact on people, and I wanted very badly to make the schedules work.”
He also wrote about how he felt the cast and characters of Kim’s Convenience weren’t allowed to grow. “It was always my understanding that the lead actors were the stewards of character, and would grow to have more creative insight as the show went on. This was not the case on our show, which was doubly confusing because our producers were overwhelmingly white and we were a cast of Asian Canadians who had a plethora of lived experiences to draw from and offer to writers,” he continued. “Imagine my disappointment year after year knowing that Jung was just stuck at Handy and in absolutely no hurry to improve himself in any way. More importantly, the characters never seemed to grow.”
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