Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park would no longer be part of the cast of Hawaii 5 as the two actors failed to sign a new contract to shoot season 8 of the TV series. The two stars failure to continue on the show is reportedly caused by the fact they wanted to earn the same fee as their other co-cast who are predominantly white. Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan are the two leading acts of the show and are also the highest paid. The Asian actors reportedly demanded the same pay with Alex and Scott but producers of the show refused to yield to such demands.
On Wednesday, in a lengthy post released on Facebook, Kim explained the cause of his departure from the show making claims of discriminative pay on the show. The star claimed that the major reason for his departure is the fact that they couldn’t agree on a contract. He however made claims that suggest that he demanded for equal pay.
Guy Aoki, founding president of Media Action Network for Asian Americans which are a body that champions the cause of Asian American actors in responding to the issue says it’s clearly racially motivated. He claimed that there have been a racial hierarchy established in the movie industry since the 1960s and the effect is still clearly in place up till date.
Phil Yu who writes for the influential Asian blog “Angry Asian Man” also blasted the decision not to renew the contract of the Asian stars and claims that from its acts the show obviously values white actors more than their Asian counterpart.
This is however not the first time Asian actor would be departing from the TV series which has previously run for & seasons. In January of this year, Masi Oka who had also been on the show since its first season also left the show amid contractual crises.
Producer of the show Peter Lenkov have however come out to deny the allegations and claims the stars chose to leave after they were offered unprecedented pay. He further claimed that the departure has no racial undertone whatsoever.