Hawaii Five-O's Two Asian Stars Quit Because Of Reported Pay Inequality With White Co-Stars
Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, two of the stars of CBS' Hawaii Five-0, have quit the show because they were unable to negotiate pay to equal that of their white co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, reports Variety. Dae Kim and Park have been series regulars for the past seven seasons. Their departure will be incorporated into the first episode of season eight, which premieres on September 29.
CBS Television Studios' final offers to Dae Kim and Park were reportedly 10-15% lower than those of O'Loughlin and Caan. The latter two actors also have back-end deals with the series, which means they get a percentage of the show's profits.
The loss of two major stars after several seasons isn't unheard of in television, but the loss of the two main Asian-American stars puts CBS in hot water considering their history of poor diversity representation on the network. The show, which is set in Hawaii, will now feature no non-white main characters, unless the show casts an actor of color for a new series regular named Tani, according to TV Line.
In a statement, a CBS spokesperson said,
"We are 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…"
Daniel Dae Kim is executive producing The Good Doctor for ABC, which was picked up to series in May.