After seven seasons,actors, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park have left CBS cop show rebootHawaii Five-0.The actors, who are both of Korean heritage, departed the series after reportedly being unable to achieve pay equality with their white co-stars.
Last week,Variety reported that Kim and Park, who play Hawaiiancops Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua on the show, had sought equal pay with the show’s leads, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. However, theywere unable to reach an agreement with CBS, with the network’s final offer believed to be 10 to 15 percent lower than their white peers’ salaries.
And in a new message to fans published Wednesday, Kim has all but confirmed the departure fromHawaii Five-0concerned fair compensation. Though Kim shared that he and CBS “weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract,” he didn’t specify why he “made the difficult choice not to continue.”
In his post, Kim thanked the cast and crew for makingHawaii Five-0 representative of Hawaii and its communities, and for allowing him to play a“three-dimensional” character as an Asian American actor, a rare opportunityamong Hollywood’s typically typecast roles for Asian actors.
“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 showand especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process,” Kim wrote on Facebook. “They and the crew have been my second family for seven years and I wish them nothing but success for season 8and beyond.”
However, Kim’s message urged fans to look beyond his absence in the show as part of a “bigger picture,” perhaps alluding to hisand Park’s refusal to be under compensated through a lens of social justice and equality.
“Ill 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 wrote.
Read his full Facebook post below:
A MESSAGE TO MY FANS ABOUT HAWAII 5-0Sorry for the delay in hearing from me, but like you I’m sure, my July 4th…
H/T NBC Chicago