QUEENS, N.Y. – Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) on July 6 issued the following statement on Asian American actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park leaving the CBS show “Hawaii Five-0” after reportedly being offered 10 to 15 percent less in salary than their co-stars:
“I am disturbed to hear reports that ‘Hawaii Five-O’ stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were not offered equal pay to their colleagues on the TV series. Kim and Park were principal characters on the show for seven seasons, and decided to leave after CBS reportedly offered them both a significantly lower salary than their fellow co-stars.
“Asian Americans already face many issues in Hollywood, including typecasting and whitewashing. The entertainment industry continues to struggle with accurately portraying Asian American stories and including diverse characters. Not paying artists fairly further increases these problems by putting up barriers for Asian American performers to break through in the industry.
“I call upon Hollywood studios and producers to address pay inequity, offensive stereotypes, and lack of Asian American representation on and off screen.”
It’s unfortunate that Daniel Dae Kim didn’t use his position as Executive Producer of the new series “The Good Doctor” to practice what he preached. I don’t see any Asian American actors in the top 5 roles. Is he paying his second, third, and fourth on the call sheet as much as the white male actor he hired as his lead?