Liu said that the show can't be saved because it wasn't cancelled — instead, the producers chose not to continue making episodes. He also noted that the spin-off series about Shannon in the works has made him "resentful of all of the circumstances that led to the one non-Asian character getting her own show," he says he will "adamantly refuse" to reprise his role.
He went on to say that the cast was "paid an absolute horsepoop rate" that was nothing compared to shows like Schitt's Creek. "We also never banded together and demanded more," Liu said. "Maybe [...] because we were too busy infighting to understand that we were deliberately being pitted against each other."
According to Liu, the Kim's Convenience writers' room also lacked East Asian and female representation. He says he and other members of the cast tried to share thoughts and ideas for the show but nothing came of it. "Those doors were never opened to us in any meaningful way," he said.
Narcity reached out to CBC and the showrunners for comment but did not hear back before publication.
How was the cast of Kim's Convenience treated?
Liu said he was frustrated with how his character was being portrayed and how he was being treated.
Even though he knew everyone working on the show would have different ideas of where each character would go and what stories would be told, he thought lead actors would get to have more creative insight for their characters as time 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," Liu said.
According to him, the cast was often told what the plan was for the upcoming season just days before shooting was set to start and "there was deliberately not a lot of leeway."
He was disappointed to learn every year that his character was still working in the same place with no hurry to improve himself and that the characters seemed to never grow.
"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," he said.
Did the Kim's Convenience cast members get along?
According to Liu, the cast of the show didn't always get along with each other and that "breaks" him.
"I often felt like the odd man out or a problem child," he said, partly because of his own insecurities but also due to things like nomination snubs, less screen time and losing out on opportunities that were given to other actors in the cast.
Liu said he pursued the L.A. acting scene because he couldn't rely on the series to take his career where he needed it to go and because the cast couldn't be the type of family he had imagined it would be.
"I had no mentor during this whole process and nobody from the producing team of the show ever even remotely reached out," he said.
Due to that, he revealed that he probably said and did things that were "stupid and not helpful" but he believes he was careful to always present a united front.
"I think we've all individually done a lot of work over the years and there will always be [...] a mutual love and respect, as well as a recognition of the bond forged from this totally unique experience of being on a hit show that changed the world," Liu said.
How does Simu Liu feel about Kim's Convenience now?
Liu shared that he's saddened by the fact that nobody will be able to see the characters grow, Jung and Appa reunite, the family deal with Umma's MS, and Janet's journey of self-discovery.
Even though the show has come to an end, he said he's still touched by the support of the fans.
"I still believe in what the show once stood for; a shining example of what can happen when the gates come down and minorities are given a chance to shine," Liu said.
- 'Kim's Convenience' Appa & Umma Have The Best Relationship In ... ›
- “Kim's Convenience” Facts That'll Make You Want To Binge-Watch It ... ›
- Save 'Kim's Convenience' Is Trending Online After The Show Got A ... ›
- 'Kim's Convenience' Cast Member Jean Yoon Blasts The Show - Narcity ›