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CBS Answers Claims It’s Paying Asian-American Actors Less Than White Co-Stars

Hawaii Five 0 Pay Asian Controversy
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Two Asian-American Hawaii Five-O stars decided to 86 themselves after failing to negotiate pay with CBS, and the network is now answering claims it’s paid them less than their white co-stars.

Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will leave the show ahead of Season 8 production, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and CBS has defended its failure to raise their salaries to the level of co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan by saying Kim and Park are supporting characters and, thus, not eligible for the same bracket.

“Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members ofHawaii Five-0 for seven seasons,” a statement reads, according to Vanity Fair. “We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases. While we could not reach an agreement, we part ways with tremendous respect for their talents on screen, as well as their roles as ambassadors for the show off screen, and with hopes to work with them again in the near future.”

Kim first announced yesterday (July 5) in a Facebook post he wasn’t planning to return to the show.

“Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue,” he wrote. “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 show — and especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process.”

“The path to equality is rarely easy,” he added.

And while Kim was diplomatic about his choice to leave the show, fellow Asian-American actors, filmmakers and industry insiders expressed fiery disappointment in the network’s treatment of him and Park.

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