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'Kim's Convenience' Shows Thorny Issues of Race and Representation Continue in Hollywood

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Canada’s ‘Kim’s Convenience’ Creates Complex Comedy Controversy, But Should It?

The last thing I would be endorsing is a sympathetic approach when it comes to the Hollywood complex. The industry is a seething cauldron of distemper, sexism, bias, social grandstanding, and other issues, but that does not mean it is always fully at fault. One Canadian television production is reflecting so many of the entanglements involved in doing the right thing.

On Netflix, the new season of the comedy production “Kim’s Convenience” just debuted, and it was with some heavy tones that it was also announced to be the final season. The show has been a hit in its native Canada, even drawing ratings higher than “Schitt’s Creek,” which was wildly embraced here in the States with both high ratings and numerous awards won. After its fifth season, however, there was an abrupt announcement that behind the scenes strife led to the production being brought to a halt.

The show is centered around a Korean family in the area of Toronto, the father being the owner and proprietor of a convenience store in a neighborhood of diverse individuals. It was adapted from a stage production by playwright Ins Choi, who was a member of the writing team for the first few seasons. As the show became more popular, there seems to have been a drift in its focus. Mr. Choi left the show abruptly, and then as the last season was arriving, cast members came forward with their impressions of a troubled production. 

Ahead of the debut of season-5, one of the actors, Simu Liu, made a lengthy post on Facebook explaining some of what was behind the decision to end the show’s run.

“I was, however, growing increasingly frustrated with the way my character was being portrayed and, somewhat related, was also increasingly frustrated with the way I was being treated. 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.”

His impressions were bolstered by veteran actress Jean Yoon, who played

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