Actor Daniel Dae Kim, known for his past role in the TV show “Lost” and current show “Hawaii Five-0,” announced that he will not be returning for season eight of the latter due to pay inequality.
News of the actor’s departure began spreading early this week but in a Facebook post on July 5, Kim officially addressed fans about the decision.
“I’m back now and didn’t want to let any more time go by without reaching out. By now many of you have heard the news, and I’m sad to say it is true,” he wrote. “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 won’t be the only star absent from the show’s upcoming season either. Reportedly, Grace Park will also be leaving due to the same pay inequality issue. The Washington reported that when they contacted Park for a comment her publicist said the actor was away traveling but Kim’s Facebook statement “sheds light on the situation.”
Kim and Park have both been actors of the TV show since its debut in 2010. Kim portrayed the role of Chin Ho Kelly, and Park the role of Kono Kalakaua. But after nearly eight seasons of the show, the pair decided to step down because their pay did not reflect that of their co-stars. According to Variety, CBS–the producer of the show– was offering Kim and Park a salary that was 10 to 15 percent lower than what their co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan were offered.
“As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho,” Kim said. “I will miss him sincerely.”
Despite not being able to come to a decision with CBS, the actor expressed his gratitude for CBS, the cast, his fans and many others. And though he said he would miss his character, the actor expressed that he was excited for what lies ahead.
“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. The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future. I am,” he wrote.
In the meantime, Kim says he has new acting projects on the horizon and encouraged fans to look out for his new produced show “The Good Doctor” premiering this fall.