Daniel Dae Kim is speaking out about his departure from Hawaii Five-O following a much publicized battle over pay. He and co-star Grace Park are both leaving the show after failed attempts to negotiate salaries equal that of other cast members. Kim took to Facebook to talk about his departure, saying that he was not able to reach an agreement with CBS regarding the terms of his contract. Daniel has played the role of Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly for seven years.
According to a report from Variety, the last and highest offer that was made to Kim and Parks was between 10 and 15 percent lower than the salaries of co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. They speculate that it’s possible that, because Daniel and Grace have less screen time on the show, CBS may be justifying the difference in pay by classifying O’Loughlin and Caan as lead actors while classifying Kim and Park as supporting actors.
Representatives of the show have expressed their admiration for the talent of both Daniel and Grace and have wished them well in their future endeavors. Of his time with Kim, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov said the following.
“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.”
Kim expressed gratitude for his experience on Hawaii Five-O as well as excitement and hope for the future. Calling the cast and crew of the CBS show a “second family,” he was complimentary about his time spent there. Daniel also noted that finding an acting job of any kind is difficult for an Asian American and that he realized and appreciated the rare opportunity to portray a character that is well developed and multi-dimensional.
“I will always be grateful for their faith in me to bring Chin Ho Kelly to life… I will miss him sincerely.”
Daniel Dae Kim also referred to future plans in his Facebook post. Among his projects in the near future is a medical drama television series titled The Good Doctor. Kim developed the show with David Shore, who is known for NYPD Blue among other shows. The Good Doctor centers on a pediatric surgeon, played by Freddie Highmore, who has Autism and Savant syndrome. It is scheduled to premiere on ABC later this year. Prior to Hawaii Five-O, Daniel was mostly known for his role on Lost from 2004 to 2010.
Kim briefly referred to the struggle for equality in his Facebook post.
“I’ll end by saying that though 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. But I hope you can be excited for the future. I am.”
Season 8 of Hawaii Five-O will premiere on September 29. The Los Angeles Times reports that the fate of the characters played by Kim and Parks will be included in that episode.
[Featured Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]