Hawaii Five-0 Star Daniel Dae Kim Confirms Exit From Show Amid Allegations Of Pay Inequality
Daniel Dae Kim, one of the stars of CBS's Hawaii Five-0, took to Facebook Wednesday to confirm that he won't return to the show that reportedly paid him 10 to 15 percent less than his white co-stars. "Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract," Kim wrote on Facebook.
News broke last week that Kim and his co-star Grace Park would not appear in the eighth season of Hawaii Five-0, with Variety reporting that CBS's final salary offer to Park and Kim was 10 to 15 percent less than that of white co-stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan.
Kim's Facebook statement doesn't explicitly attribute his departure from the show to racial pay inequity, thanking CBS and Hawaii Five-0 producer Peter Lenkov for his seven years on the show. Still, Kim—who was born in South Korea, raised in the U.S. and currently lives in Hawaii—alluded to issues of racial inequity in Hollywood, noting: "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."
"The path to equality is rarely easy," Kim reflected in his statement, ultimately concluding on an optimistic note and encouraging viewers to tune in to The Good Doctor on ABC this fall, which he's producing. In an industry where Asian-American actors are still sorely underrepresented, and opportunities for diversity are all too often whitewashed out of existence, here's hoping Kim and Park go on to earn every dollar they're worth.