‘ Hawaii Five-0 ’ Loses Its Asian Stars, Reportedly Over Pay Dispute With CBS
Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will not return for the show’s eighth season. Two of the longtime leads of “ Hawaii Five-0 ” are reportedly leaving the show after seven seasons due to failed salary negotiations. Sources told Variety that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park sought equal pay to Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, and quit when CBS offered the Asian stars 10 to 15 percent less than their white co-stars make. Kim and Park have been with the “Hawaii Five-0” since the reboot first aired in 2010. Their characters, Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua, are two of the show’s biggest leads. CBS did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment but told Variety the network is “so appreciative of Daniel and Grace’s enormous talents, professional excellence and the aloha spirit they brought to each and every one of our 168 episodes.” “They’ve helped us build an exciting new Hawaii Five-0, and we wish them all the best and much success in their next chapters.” “Mahalo and a hui hou…” (Meaning: “Thank you and see you later” or I don’t give a shit from CBS.)
Kim and Park’s reported negotiations highlight a growing battle for pay equality in Hollywood. “Shameless” star Emmy Rossum fought to be paid more than her co-star William Macy last year after making less than he did for several seasons. The actress got Macy’s support, who said “she deserves everything.” Robin Wright also spoke out last year about her demand to be paid the same as “House of Cards” co-star Kevin Spacey though she has stated in a magazine interview that she’s not sure the equal paycheck will ever really materialize. Daniel Dae Kim sent a message to his fans about his choice to leave his beloved role on “Hawaii Five-0” with this message: “By now many of you have heard the news and I’m sad to say it is true. I will not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 when production starts next week,” Kim wrote. “Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue.” Kim spoke out on the on the obstacles for minorities in Hollywood and thanked CBS for giving him the opportunity to play a lead character with as much depth as Chin Ho Kelly. “As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well-developed, three-dimensional character like Chin Ho,” Kim wrote. “I will miss him sincerely. What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love.” “I’ll end by saying that though transitions can be difficult, I encourage us all to look beyond the disappointment of this moment to the bigger picture.” “The path to equality is rarely easy.” Kim, who is also known for his role on the hit series “Lost,” assured fans that he would be pursuing other opportunities on and off-screen. His production company, 3AD, will be premiering its first series, “The Good Doctor,” on ABC in the fall. In a study of over 400 films and television series done by University of Southern California last year, only 5 percent had Asian speaking characters. Other actors, such as Aziz Ansari, have spoken out about these issues and roles that stereotype minorities. These issues were also highlighted by the social media #OscarsSoWhite and increasing backlash against films that “whitewash” minority stories.
Since Basically Old White Men In Suits Run Hollywood, It Will Be A Long And Hard Fought Victory
Susan Z’s Conclusion:
I believe that Kim and Park have dealt with this issue for a few renewal contracts and really thought they would win their equal pay fight. I believe since it is the show’s eighth season, the producers see a winding down on the series and were not willing to cooperate. I also confrontations in negotiations were big, which did not help winning their case.
Five of Pentacles:
This is a card of low self-esteem and a “less than” mentality. It is fairly obvious why this card was drawn since these two Asian actors are pointing out this is exactly why they are quitting.
The High Priestess: Inverted (Upside Down)
This is a woman who is self-sufficient but can also feel isolated and alone. Since pulled inverted, I believe that it was Grace Park who initiated the quit for not only is she dealing with Asian inequality but she is also a woman.
The Hermit: Inverted
This card is one of going within and standing alone. Since pulled inverted, I feel it represents the two actors bringing to public awareness the inequality of pay they refused to accept.
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.