Kim’s Convenience Actors Reveal Lack of Korean Writers Led to Behind-The-Scenes Cultural Insensitivity and Racism

The cast of Kim's Convenience. From left to right: Simu Liu, Jean Yoon, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Andrea Bang.

Just days after Season 5 of Kim’s Convenience dropped for American audiences, actors Simu Liu (Jung) and Jean Yoon (Umma) have revealed serious behind-the-scenes problems that plagued the making of the Asian Canadian sitcom.

Most notably, Yoon tweeted that for most of the show’s five seasons, there were no Asian female or Korean writers involved in crafting the show’s scripts, which made the experience of working on the show “painful” for her.

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Remembering Konerak Sinthasomphone

Konerak Sinthasomphone

By Guest Contributor: Anna M. Moncada Storti

Content Note: Explicit mention of events of child m*lest*tion, s*xual violence, anti-Asian murder & violence, anti-Black murder & violence


Spring brings renewal, so they say. A much needed reprieve after the year we’ve all endured, this season of new beginnings, however, asks us to do more than reemerge. In the United States, May is recognized as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. Our previous calendar month was also designated as Abolition May by the Cops off Campus Coalition. The call to embrace AAPI heritage and the call for abolition have more in common than one may think. 

Like many scholars, I’ve devoted time this May to teaching and learning about the specific relations between anti-Asian violence, anti-Blackness, and abolition. Shifting into Pride month, the task remains. As I imagine liberation for all, I hold Konerak Sinthasomphone in my memory, and you should too. 

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Amidst strict censorship laws, Facebook is not Vietnam’s Savior

Facebook icon. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

By Guest Contributor: Ngan Chiem

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Vietnamese government began sabotaging the connectivity of local Facebook servers for 7 weeks. They wanted to pressure Facebook into removing anti-party content on its platform. To the alarm of international human rights agencies around the world, Facebook complied with the regime’s demands.

Following their controversial concession to the Vietnamese government, Facebook issued a statement positioning themselves as defenders of free speech against oppressive regimes.

“Millions of people in Vietnam use our services every day….We don’t always see eye to eye with governments on issues like speech and expression, including in Vietnam, but we work hard to defend this right around the world.”

This has been Facebook’s defense after complying with authoritarian censorship since 2015: concession to block a few to spare service for the rest. 

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New Podcast Company Appears to Appropriate Hyphen Magazine Brand Identity

Hyphen Magazine's logo.

A founding editor of the long-running Hyphen Magazine – the Asian American publication that launched its first issue in 2003 – has expressed frustration on social media after learning of the recent launch of Hyphen Media, a podcast company that claims to want to increase diversity in the audio space. Hyphen Media appears to have appropriated several aspects of Hyphen Magazine‘s brand identity, including its name, logo, and focus on Asian American story-telling. Whether these similarities are intentional or unintentional remains unclear.

Hyphen Magazine was founded in 2002 (around the same time as Reappropriate) by a small volunteer group of Asian American journalists and artists, most of them women. In the nearly twenty years since its inception in San Francisco, Hyphen Magazine has published numerous print issues, as well as maintained an active and incisive group blog. Altogether, that work has consistently elevated discourse around Asian American identity, and has been a powerful voice in the Asian American alternative media space.

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New Vincent Chin Podcast Never Contacted Helen Zia or the Chin Estate

Journalist Helen Zia speaks at a protest seeking justice for Vincent Chin in the 1980's. (Photo credit: Corky Lee)

This post was updated on 5/29/21 to include new developments in this story, including comments from A-Major Media. This post was updated on 6/3/21 to include new comments by Annie Tan and Rosalind Chao.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Gemma Chan would be partnering with A-Major Media and M88 to produce a new star-studded podcast centered around the 1982 racially-motivated murder of Vincent Chin that sparked a nationwide protest galvanizing the Asian American community. That podcast — Hold Still, Vincent — involves a table read of a screenplay by the same name written by Johnny Ngo, and it features a star-studded cast of Asian American actors including Remy Hii as Vincent Chin, Rosalind Chao as Vincent’s mother Lily Chin, and Kelly Marie Tran as both Liza Chan and Helen Zia. Benedict Wong, Ki Hong Lee, Stephanie Hsu and Tzi Ma also make appearances. The podcast also features an interview with Asian American artists and activists moderated by John Cho. Hold Still, Vincent released all five episodes on May 27, and is also expected to be developed into a feature film.

Both podcast and film have excited the Asian American community because they are expected to introduce a pivotal moment in Asian American movement history to a wider audience. Many were disappointed therefore when Helen Zia — the journalist who played a central role in organizing the demands for justice for Chin and his family — revealed that neither she nor the Vincent Chin Estate have ever been contacted by the makers of Hold Still, Vincent.

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