It’s been a couple of months since the sudden discontinuation of beloved CBC sitcom Kim’s Convenience, and actor Simu Liu has finally explained what went down when the cameras shut off.
Liu, who played Jung in the series about a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto, just shared a lengthy, incendiary Facebook post to clarify speculation and “give accurate information” to fans who were left in the dark about the show’s abrupt end.
The actor mentioned it wasn’t cancelled, but the producers chose not to continue making episodes.
He also revealed that the spin-off about the character Shannon made him feel “resentful of all of the circumstances that led to the one non-Asian character getting her own show,” adding that he won’t be reprising his role.
The actor, who will portray the warrior Shang-Chi in Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, said his growth outside Kim’s Convenience has nothing to do with its discontinuation. “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. I love this show and everything it stood for.”
He also got candid about how the cast got paid “an absolute horsepoop rate” that was nothing compared to shows like Schitt’s Creek, “who had ‘brand-name talent’ with American agents, but whose ratings were not as high as ours, we were making NOTHING.”
According to Liu, Kim’s Convenience’s writing staff needed more East Asian and female representation. He also noted he and other members of the cast tried to make things better but nothing worked. “Those doors were never opened to us in any meaningful way,” he said.
Liu went on to express frustration with the way his character was portrayed on the show, and the way he was treated. While he understood the creation of a TV show is a collaborative process, he was led to believe lead actors would have some say over the arc of their characters as the series progressed. “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,” Liu wrote. “But we were often told of the next seasons’ plans mere days before we were set to start shooting… there was deliberately not a lot of leeway given to us.”
Liu was disappointed to learn his character was stuck working at the same car rental service year after year, with no hurry to improve himself. “I can appreciate that the show is still a hit and is enjoyed by many people… but I remain fixated on the missed opportunities to show Asian characters with real depth and the ability to grow and evolve.”
You can read Liu’s full Facebook post here.