Find out how “Hawii Five-0” wrote out Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park’s characters.
The two actors made headlines this summer after it was announced they would not return to the show over salary disputes. Kim, 49, and Vancouver’s Park, 43, were looking to earn equal pay to “Hawaii Five-0” co-stars Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin.
In their place Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale were added to the show’s lineup.
Kim’s character, Chin Ho Kelly, was easy enough to write out. Chin was offered the opportunity to run his own task force in San Francisco at the end of season 7 — an offer the character was revealed to have accepted in season eight.
Dealing with Kono Kalakaua, the character played by Park, required more creativity. Danny Caan explained in the episode that Kono was currently on the mainland working to shut down a sex trafficking network. “You remind me a lot of Kono, by the way,” he told Rath’s new character Tani Rey. “That’s a compliment.”
Kim previously shared his side of the story on Facebook. “I will not be returning to ‘Hawaii Five-0’ when production starts next week,” he wrote. “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,”
“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,” Kim continued. “The path to equality is rarely easy.”
CBS responded with this statement: “Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ for seven seasons. We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases.”
The statement continued: “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.”
In other related news, Kim was recently cast in “Hellboy” as Japanese-American military member Ben Daimio after Ed Skrein dropped out of the role over whitewashing concerns.