Update: Variety reports that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park’s exit is a result over contract disputes for equal pay.
Sources tell Variety that Park and Kim had been seeking pay equality with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but were unable to reach satisfactory deals with CBS Television Studios, which produces the series. Kim and Park were believed to be making 10-15% less than O’Loughlin and Caan.
According to Deadline Hollywood today, stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will not be reprising their roles of Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakua for Season 8 of the CBS procedural HAWAII FIVE-O.
More from Deadline:
CBS says fans will be updated on their characters in the season premiere on Friday, September 29.
“I will never forget meeting Daniel while still writing the pilot and being certain there was no other actor who I’d want to play Chin Ho Kelly,” said Peter Lenkov, executive producer. “Needless to say, Daniel has been an instrumental part of the success of Hawaii Five-0 over the past seven seasons and it has personally been a privilege to know him. Grace’s presence gave Hawaii Five-o a beauty and serenity to each episode. She was the consummate collaborator, helping build her character from Day 1. They will always be ohana to us, we will miss them and we wish them both all the best.
“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,” CBS said in a statement. “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…”
I get that being on a show for seven seasons makes the job a bit long in the tooth and it was great to see both Kim and Park on TV screens every week. HAWAII FIVE-O represents Hawaii’s multi-cultural population and for a time, the cast was predominantly Asian aside from the main leads Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.
In the case of Kim, he’s quickly building a name for himself as a producer, with his show THE GOOD DOCTOR (a remake of the popular Korean drama) premiering on ABC this fall. As for Park, let’s hope she lands another juicy role like her previous character Boomer in the groundbreaking sci-fi series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
But what is worrisome is that the Asian American characters on the show have been slowly disappearing starting with Brian Yang’s lab tech Charlie Fong, then Masi Oka’s medical examiner Dr. Max Bergman, and now Kim and Park.
I’m hoping the new characters who are joining the task force will be Asian Pacific Americans actors as well, because you know, Hawaii is predominately APA.
So, listen up producers, especially show creator Peter Lenkov. Do the right thing, dude, and give some Asian American or actual Native Hawaiian actors, a job.
To read more on this breaking story, go to: Is it suspicious that all the Asian leads in HAWAII FIVE-O left this year and what does this say about racial and gender bias on actors salaries?