“Hawaii Five-O” showrunner Peter Lenkov took to Twitter Thursday to address the controversy surrounding the departure of stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from the series.
While Lenkov doesn’t specifically address the reasons for the cast members leaving, which involved negotiations for salaries to match those of the show’s other white male stars, he does say that Park’s decision was in part informed by being away from her family during shooting. He also hinted at the racially charged reasons for the contract dispute, listing the “diverse” cast who have appeared on the show.
In a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday, “Hawaii Five-0” star Daniel Dae Kim has finally publicly addressed his departure from the show.
It was announced on Friday that Kim and co-star Grace Park were both exiting the series after seven seasons. The eighth season premiere will reveal what happened to their characters.
Soon after the announcement, Variety reported that the actors had left due to contract disputes over salary. The stars were apparently trying to attain pay equality with their other co-stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.
“Sorry for the delay in hearing from me, but like you I’m sure, my July 4th holiday was busy with friends and family,” Kim wrote in his Facebook post. “By now many of you have heard the news, and I’m sad to say it is true. I will not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 when production starts next week. 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 also thanked “Hawaii Five-0” producers Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, as well as the rest of the team at CBS.
“Finally, I want to thank all of you, the fans,” Kim wrote. “I’ve read your messages and I can’t tell you how much they’ve meant to me. I never, ever forget that YOU are the reason ‘Hawaii Five-0’ is the success that it is, and interacting with you online and in person around the world(!) has been one of the greatest joys of this entire experience. I’m so sorry we won’t be continuing this journey together.”
Kim, who also starred in “Lost” and is a producer on the upcoming series “The Good Doctor”, ended his post on a positive note, writing, “The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future. I am.”
Now, CBS is speaking out on the deal. The network released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday regarding the situation. According to the statement, the network offered them salary increases but an agreement was not reached:
“Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of Hawaii Five-0 for seven seasons,” CBS said. “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.”