Following the departure of both Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from NBC's smash-hit show Hawaii Five-0 while undergoing pay negotiations, CBS has received heat from fans and actors alike. With the two actors having said they were leaving due to equality pay issues, showrunner Peter M. Lenkov was expected to make a statement — and today he has.
He broke his silence via a letter to fans of the show about stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park's departure, both of whom left the CBS show earlier this week. Taking to Twitter, Lenkov revealed that both Kim and Park had been offered "unprecedented raises." It clearly wasn't enough to keep the two Hawaii Five-0 stars on, as the show's eighth season will be the last time fans see both Kim and Park. Now, Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan will become the headliners for the show.
Daniel Dae Kim And Grace Park Left Unreasonably, According To Lenkov
In the letter to the fans, Lenkov explains that the dispute was not about race. In fact, he stressed that Kim and Park were both offered raises that would bring them within 2 percent of co-stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan's salaries. Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim would have seen substantial increases in their pay while also reaping earnings on the show's back end.
Lenkov also stated that Grace Park wanted equal pay as her co-stars with less screen time. If you read the full statement, Lenkov clarifies that they pushed to reach contractual agreements sooner than later. Because an agreement couldn't be made, Park was dismissed from the show.
Grace Park Left After Seven Years Away From Her Family
Lenkov openly admits to understanding Grace Park's desire to leave the show. After 168 episodes and seven years, Park's decision was understandable. There's no doubt that any fan out there can agree that she needed to be with her family, even though it's heartbreaking to see her depart.
Did Daniel Dae Kim Really Leave Over Equality Issues?
It does seem, however, that CBS and Lenkov worked hard in order to appease both actors. In a statement on his Facebook page, Kim said that playing Chin Ho was hugely important to him, and a role he absolutely loved. He continued on to say that pay equality was due to a lack of equality for Asian-American actors.
You can read his full statement below:
As an Asian-American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well-developed, three-dimensional character like Chin Ho. I will miss him sincerely. … [T]hough 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.
After reading Lenkov's statement, there's no doubt that all parties attempted to reach an amicable agreement, though it seems the contractual disputes prevailed in the end, with fans having to say goodbye to Kim and Park at the end of the upcoming fall season.
While it's hard to say that their reasons are purely justified, there's no doubt that Kim and Park's convictions were worth fighting for. You can see the final statement made by CBS below:
Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of Hawaii Five-0 for seven seasons. 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.
Just remember, they aren't the only actors who left their smash-hit shows.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Sound off in the comments below.