Contentious salary and contract negotiations in TV are nothing new. There is Jerry Seinfeld’s record-breaking million-dollar-per-episode contract nearly 20 years ago. Who can also forget the infamous “all for one, and one for all” holdout of our six favorite Friends? There is a long history of TV stars asking for money, and ultimately them getting it. But what generally comes as a surprise is when a show decides to let cast members walk, rather than accede to their salary requests. Which is why, it is a bit perplexing to see the departures of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from the long-running CBS series, Hawaii Five-0.
Kim posted a lengthy message on Facebook discussing his departure from the show. According to inside sources, both actors were seeking pay equality with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. But CBS refused to budge.
Said Kim is his message:
“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.”
Given that Hawaii Five-0 has been a CBS staple entering its eighth season, Kim’s exit does come as quite a surprise. As an original cast member, he is the only person along with O’Loughlin and Caan to have appeared on every episode of the series. Kim’s subtle mention of equality speaks to the continual difficulties of Asian representation in Hollywood, as well as the salary differences between an Asian star and his white counterparts. It is a little disheartening to see that Kim and Park’s Hawaii Five-0 castmates didn’t help in the negotiations, much like how The Big Bang Theory’s original five stars took a pay cut to get their co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch well deserved raises.
Thankfully, Daniel Dae Kim will continue to stay busy, with a new series (The Good Doctor) being developed by David Shore.
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