Hawaii Five-0 No: show loses actors due to unequal pay

by Bradley Adams

Public Relations Manager

As CBS’s hit show Hawaii Five-0 kicks off its eighth, and what may be its final, season, fans are wondering if the show will ever be the same without main characters, Chin Ho Kelly played by Daniel Dae Kim and Kono Kalakaua played by Grace Park.

The show originates in Hawaii, mainly on the island of O’ahu where Steve McGarrett, played by Alex O’Loughlin, returns after serving in the Navy for many years to find out who killed his father. The Governor of Hawai’i offers Steve full immunity and means to run this task force as he sees fit. He then recruits Danny Williams played by Scott Caan to be his partner. Danny reluctantly realizes he has no choice but to accept.

Two is not enough for a task force, so Steve convinces former HPD police officer, Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) to join the force. Even though the force discharged him from for supposedly stealing money from the asset forfeiture locker, Steve trusts Chin Ho’s because his father, who was Chin Ho’s training officer, trusted him.

They then realize they need someone young and fresh out of the academy who is not known as a cop yet to join their task force. Chin Ho recommends his cousin, Kono Kalakaua. Kono is a former surf champion who has blown out her knee, leaving her unable to compete anymore, so she decides to go into the family business and become a cop like her cousin Chin Ho. These four characters are the original heart and soul of the Five-0 task force. Therefore, viewers are distraught and heartbroken that the characters Kelly and Kalakaua are leaving the show.

Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim attempted to receive the same salaries as their co-stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan after 7 years on the show. Unfortunately, they could not come to an agreement regarding salary. Supposedly, CBS’s final offer to Park and Kim was “10-15 percent lower” than the salaries of O’Loughlin and Caan.

In an official statement, a CBS spokesman stated, “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 … ”

The loss of the two main Asian characters on the show due to an unagreed upon salary change does not bode well for CBS because they have received many complaints from angry fans. The news exploded throughout the press, flooded journals and blogs, and set off devoted Five-0 fans. In addition, it brought up controversies of diversity in the workplace and how minorities struggle to receive equal salaries as to their white counterparts.

Even though the Hawaii Five-0 “ohana” will never be the same, fans are interested in seeing what CBS has to offer them in season 8 premiering Friday, September 29.

(Sources: E! News and CNN)

Categories: Culture

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