KIRO Reporter, Siemny Kim Drops Out Of Sight

It has been several weeks since viewers have seen Siemny Kim. A few of her social media posts might explain where her head is at… her bio has been removed from the KIRO 7 website. Her social media posts have come to a halt.
December 2021 — Gratitude post: I’ve been silent on social media for the last few months. To be honest, I haven’t felt very joyful. To post – felt disingenuous.
… Behind this smile – has been a few dark months triggered by my post back in March about having to change my name at KIRO.
I’ve been struggling with the intersectionality of how race and gender have affected my life and the decisions I have made.
I’m sharing this not to seek sympathy. But to say – I know we’ve all got some pain behind our smiles. So — I see you. I hear you. And I’m working through it, too.
And I am supremely grateful for the love and support of my family, friends, coworkers… and you. Thanks for letting me in your homes. I never take for granted how privileged I am.

March 2021 — I’ve been processing what’s happened to the Asian American community across the country. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m upset. But, to denounce the horrific violence facing the community, I also have to address the issue of discrimination — where it all begins — that, when left unchecked, can escalate into extreme violence. And I also must admit that I’ve been complicit.
In 2015, I moved to Seattle to work at KIRO 7. But here’s what many of you don’t know. For my entire career before Seattle, I used my maiden name – Siemny Chhuon. But the news director at the time said I’d have to change my name because it would be too difficult for a Monday – Friday anchor. No name change, no job. I struggled. To change it after more than 10 years in the business was strange. It’s the name I had when I came to this country, the name I kept when I was naturalized as a US citizen, and the name I never once hesitated to use when starting off in the business. It’s also identifiably Cambodian which makes me very proud. To change it, felt like I would be denying my heritage.
But you know how this story ends. I landed on Kim because it’s my father’s first name and I convinced myself it was still a way to pay tribute to him, to my family. But I felt uncomfortable because as identifiable as Chhuon is Khmer, I knew that I was taking on a name that is distinctly Korean. In my inner circles, I’d even joke that I played a Korean woman on TV. Deep down, I knew that this incident is just as anti-Asian as the kids on the playground who refuse to learn or make fun of your name. The only difference is those same kids have grown up and can make powerful decisions about your future – who works and who doesn’t. Be Asian to check off the diversity box but don’t be too Asian or the wrong kind of Asian. It was the beginning of a job where I’d already compromised myself and when that boss abruptly demoted me to weekend mornings – suddenly, I was stuck with this name and the reason I changed it gone.
I struggled to share this because as much as I fight for other people’s voices to be heard, I’ve been long used to having mine silenced. I’ve bit my tongue to appease people for much too long. I also struggled to share this because if I had not agreed to change my name on air, I wouldn’t have come and grown my beautiful family here. To speak out against it, it would appear that I’m speaking out against the trajectory of my life. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I want my kids to be proud of who they are. I want them to stand up for themselves. We are not a monolith.
#stopasianhate #stopdiscrimination
Btw – pic is from a Thai refugee camp where I was born.

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Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of QZVX, former broadcaster at KTOY FM/Tacoma, KVAC/Forks , KDFL/Sumner, KTTX & KWHI FM/Brenham (TX), KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KJUN/Puyallup, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KAMT/Tacoma, KASY/Auburn, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KTAC/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. -- Airchecks
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14 thoughts on “KIRO Reporter, Siemny Kim Drops Out Of Sight

  1. I really enjoyed watching her. I thought her work was really good. Disappointed in KIRO, I hope she’ll be back on air somewhere else in Seattle. I wish her well.

    1. The tv industry as a whole – bites the big one. It’s not just KIRO. Corporate micro-managing, over-worked, lousy pay and hours. What’s to like?

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