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Daniel Dae Kim And Grace Park Leave "Hawaii Five-0" Over Salary Dispute

CBS reportedly refused to raise their salaries to match those of their white costars.

Last updated on August 8, 2017, at 2:20 p.m. ET

Posted on July 6, 2017, at 7:08 p.m. ET

By now, you've likely heard that Hawaii Five-0 actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will not be returning for the show's eighth season.


Kim and Park — the actors behind Detective Chin Ho Kelly and Officer Kono Kalakaua — had been series regulars on the reboot of the hit police procedural since it premiered on CBS in 2010.

The actors decided to depart from the show after failing to reach satisfactory salary agreements with CBS Television Studios.

Sources told Variety that Kim and Park had been seeking pay equality with costars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. CBS reportedly refused to raise the Asian-American actors' salaries to match those of their white colleagues.

Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Many numbers have been reported in the days since Kim and Park's departure was announced, none of which have been confirmed.

"CBS’s final offer to Kim and Park was believed to have been 10-15% lower than what O’Loughlin and Caan make in salary," according to Variety. The outlet also said that O’Loughlin and Caan will earn about "$200,000 per episode apiece for the upcoming season," and that "CBS’ last per-episode salary offer to Kim was about $5,000 apart from the two lead actors."

O'Loughlin and Caan reportedly also get a cut of the show's profits through lucrative back-end deals. It's unclear whether similar back-end deals were offered to Kim and Park.

Yesterday, Kim addressed the news in a lengthy Facebook post. "The path to equality is rarely easy," he wrote.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

"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," he wrote, adding, "The path to equality is rarely easy."

He did not detail the reported salary dispute.

Kim's message prompted CBS Television Studios to release another statement, elaborating on the contract negotiations.


“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," CBS said in a statement. "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.”

Peter M. Lenkov, who is a writer and producer for Hawaii Five-0, tweeted his own statement.

"The truth is this: Both actors chose not to extend their contracts," the statement read. "CBS was extremely generous and proactive in their renegotiation talks. So much so, the actors were getting unprecedented raises."

Kim and Park's exit from the series has earned the actors praise from fans on social media.

asians have a long history in hollywood of being whitewashed, overlooked or underpaid. daniel dae kim bravely took a stand against racism

Proud of @danieldaekim #GracePark for sticking to guns in demand for equal pay on #HawaiiFive0. Can't wait to support them in next projects.

💗Here's to @danieldaekim & Grace Park standing up for equality. 💗Know ur worth, ur value... & don't be afraid to st…

Aside from his skill and talent, @danieldaekim professionalism and integrity sets a high bar. #Diversity and…

BuzzFeed News has reached out to CBS and to representatives of Kim and Park for comment.


Kim addressed the Hawaii Five-0 salary dispute at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Aug. 6 during a panel for The Good Doctor, an ABC medical procedural he's executive producing.

"[Hawaii Five-0] was a really important part of my life for seven years. I’m really grateful to CBS and everyone involved in the show for giving me the opportunity ... I know them and I like them," he said. "That said, it's possible to be grateful for the opportunity and respectful of colleagues and the people [who] I've worked with and still maintain a steadfast sense of your self-worth.

"All good things come to an end. I closed that chapter on Hawaii Five-0 and I begin this new chapter on The Good Doctor, and I couldn't be more excited to be back at ABC, where I started my career in earnest and to be working with such incredible people. So this is the start of something new, and I'm really grateful for that too."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.