by Suzanne Kai
July 5, 2017
A year after the 2016 Oscars ceremony host Chris Rock made stereotypical jokes out of the Asian American kids on stage - Asian actors are still fighting for parity and roles.
Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, co-stars on the CBS series 'Hawaii Five-0' since 2010 asked for equal pay to that of their white co-stars, Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan.
According to Variety, CBS' final offer was 10 to 15 percent lower than what O'Loughlin and Caan are paid.
Grace played Kono Kalakaua, and Daniel's character was Chin Ho Kelly. They acted in all of the 168 episodes of the series.
Daniel Dae Kim posted on his Facebook page on July 5, 2017: (excerpt from a longer message to his fans)
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. 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.
As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude. I am so deeply thankful to our crew, writers and everyone associated with the show – and especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process. They and the crew have been my second family for seven years and I wish them nothing but success for season 8 - and beyond.
I also want to say thank you to Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and everyone at CBS. I will always be grateful for their faith in me to bring Chin Ho Kelly to life. 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. 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. It has been nothing short of an honor to be able to showcase the beauty and people of Hawaii every week, and I couldn’t be prouder to call these islands home. To my local community, mahalo nui loa.
Finally, I want to thank all of you, the fans. I’ve read your messages and I can’t tell you how much they’ve meant to me. I never, ever forget that YOU are the reason Hawaii Five-0 is the success that it is, and interacting with you online and in person around the world(!) has been one of the greatest joys of this entire experience. I’m so sorry we won’t be continuing this journey together.
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. But I hope you can be excited for the future. I am.
5-0 continues on after one of its strongest seasons. I’ve got new acting projects on the horizon, and as a producer, my company, 3AD, has its first show, THE GOOD DOCTOR, set to air this fall on ABC. I hope you’ll tune in. There’s a lot to look forward to and I’ll be sure to share it with you. In the meantime,
Aloha, thank you and Happy Independence Day!
(Photo credit: CBS/Neil Jacobs):