Two original stars of the long-running CBS cop series Hawaii Five-0 are leaving the show after seven seasons and will not appear in their roles in Season 8 this fall.
Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, who play detectives and cousins Kono Kalakaua and Chin Ho Kelly, respectively, serving on the elite law enforcement task force in Hawaii are reportedly moving on to other projects because of a salary disparity issue, according to what some inside sources told Variety.
Park and Kim reportedly earn or were offered about 15 percent less than co-stars Alex O'Loughlin (Steve McGarrett) and Scott Caan (Danno Williams) and sought pay equity with them from producer CBS Television Studios.
They were evidently unable to reach a deal on equal pay with CBS, however.
CBS offered no comment on the salary issue, the New York Daily News reported. Neither of the exiting Hawaii Five-0 stars has made a public statement as yet, but watch this space for updates.
At the end of last season, both characters in the police procedural drama seemed to be heading off for separate assignments on the mainland, and the September 29 Season 8 premiere will apparently contain some explanation for their absence likely following up on that thread.
In a statement, CBS had this to say about their departure of the two Hawaii Five-0 stars, Deadline Hollywood reported.
"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. 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…"Showrunner Peter Lenkov was similarly praiseworthy about Kim and Park, Variety explained.
"I will never forget meeting Daniel while still writing the pilot and being certain there was no other actor who I'd want to play Chin Ho Kelly. Needless to say, Daniel has been an instrumental part of the success of Hawaii Five-0 over the past 7 seasons and it has personally been a privilege to know him. Grace's presence gave Hawaii Five-0 a beauty and serenity to each episode. She was the consummate collaborator, helping build her character from day 1. They will always be ohana to us, we will miss them and we wish them both all the best."Daniel Dae Kim, 48, is executive producing a new ABC medical drama called The Good Doctor, but Grace Park's next career move is unclear. Park, 43, previously told Entertainment Weekly that she'd be willing to return to Hawaii 5-0 on a one-shot basis to wrap up her storyline, however.
Hawaii Five-O has a casting call out for a new female regular.
Some on social media have raised questions as to why the two Asian stars allegedly made less than O'Loughlin and Caan, who are white.
Hawaii Five-0 is a reboot of the iconic series that ran on CBS from 1968 to 1980, with Jack Lord starring as McGarrett. Lord made world famous the catchphrase "Book 'em, Danno" (and catchphrase has a double meaning in this context).
If you're a fan of the series, are you disappointed that Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim won't be returning to Hawaii Five-0 after seven seasons?
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/AP Images]