CBS' Hawaii Five-0 will be missing a couple of OG characters from its season eight premiere. Variety confirms stars Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, who play Kono Kalakaua and Chin Ho Kelly, have officially left the show and will not be returning for more episodes.
What makes the news even sadder is the reason behind their departure. Sources told Variety that the Asian actors have asked for pay equality with their white costars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, who take on the roles of Steve McGarrett and Danny "Danno" Williams, but were unable to reach an agreement. The network's final offer was allegedly 10 to 15% less than what O'Loughlin and Caan are making. The site further revealed that the white male stars also obtained deals that provide them with an additional cut on top of their annual salary.
Show executives have not directly addressed the Asian pair's earnings, but Deadline released a statement from the producers regarding their departures. “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,” shared executive producer, Peter Lenkov. “Needless to say, Daniel has been an instrumental part of the success of Hawaii Five-0 over the past seven 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."
CBS also went on to say: "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…”
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