Many Hawaii Five-O fans were sadden this week by the news of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park leaving the show after seven seasons as season regulars over salary disputes with CBS. On the show, Kim portrayed Chin Ho Kelly and Park portrayed Kong Kalakaua, making up half of the original Hawaii Five-O Task Force. Even though their characters were just as important and loved as the other half of the main cast, they were reportedly given “10-15% lower than what O’Loughlin and Caan make in salary,” according to Variety. Park and Kim was given $5,000 per episode less than O’Loughlin and Caan, earning only $195,000 instead of $200,000 per episode.
Hawaii Five-O lost two important and talented stars this week, but the Asian Americans and other minorities in Hollywood moved a step closer to achieving equality in Hollywood. Leaving the show was not an easy decision for Kim but as he stated in his Facebook post, “the path to equality is never easy”. He understands “how difficult it is to find opportunities at all” for Asian American Actors/Actresses, “let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character”, but this move will help enable other Asian American Actor/Actresses to fight for equal pay in television and movies.
Below Kim’s full message to his fans about his decision to leave Hawaii Five-O.
Park has not release a statement about her departure from the show. We will give you the latest update when she does.