Daniel Dae Kim on ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Exit: “The Path to Equality Is Rarely Easy”

Kim as well as Grace Park exited the CBS procedural after their salary equality demands could not be met.

Days after announcing that he would not return to Hawaii Five-0, original star Daniel Dae Kim is speaking out about the decision that led him as well as co-star Grace Park to exit the CBS procedural.

In a heartfelt post on his Facebook page, Kim revealed that he wanted to return for Hawaii Five-0‘s upcoming eighth season, but after asking for salary parity with co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, CBS and producers CBS Television Studios could not come to terms that worked for both stars. Sources note the duo’s offer came in less than that of O’Loughlin and Caan, who both have a cut of the show’s lucrative backend deals.

“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,” Kim wrote.

The actor, who like Park had been with the CBS revival since its start, thanked fans, the cast, crew and creative team and singled out how important playing Chin Ho was: “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.”

Kim and Park are the latest stars to hold out for equal pay. Shameless leading lady Emmy Rossum delayed the show’s renewal in a contract dispute with producers Warner Bros. Television in which she demanded equal pay (and more) to that of leading man William H. Macy. (She received equal pay and the show was subsequently renewed.)

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“We are so appreciative of Daniel and Grace’s enormous talents, professional excellence and the aloha spirit they brought to each and every one of our 168 episodes,” CBS said Friday in a statement. “They’ve helped us build an exciting new Hawaii Five-0, and we wish them all the best and much success in their next chapters. Mahalo and a hui hou [until we meet again].”

Kim, meanwhile, has been active in TV development and scored his first series order, the Freddie Highmore medical drama The Good Doctor, at ABC via Sony Pictures Television. For her part, Park will next reunite with the cast of Battlestar Galactica at San Diego Comic-Con for the show’s second reunion in as many months. 

Read Kim’s full Facebook post, below. 

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