Daniel Dae Kim made his first public comments since his departure from CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0″ after the network were unable to reach pay equality for the actor and his co-star, Grace Park.
Kim and Park, who have both been part of “Hawaii Five-0” for seven seasons since its debut in 2010, decided to leave the show ahead of the upcoming Season 8 premiere after CBS Television Studios failed to offer them the same salary as white co-stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.
“That was a really important part of my life for seven years, and I’m really grateful to CBS and everyone involved with the show for giving me the opportunity,” Kim said at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Sunday at a panel for the ABC show “The Good Doctor,” which he executive produces.
He continued: “I’ve known [CBS executives] Kelly [Kahl] and Thom Sherman for a while, Thom all the way back to my days on ‘Lost.’ I’ve gotten to know them and I like them, and I’m grateful for the words that they said on the panel the other day. That said, it’s possible to be grateful for the opportunity and have respect for your colleagues and still maintain a steadfast sense of your self-worth. And 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.’”
CBS Entertainment executives, Thom Sherman and Kelly Kahl, tried to dodge questions during the network’s TCA panel.
“Not going to talk specifics of the deal or negotiation. We love both those actors and did not want to lose them,” Kahl told reporters, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “We made very, very strong attempts to keep them and offered them a lot of money to stick around. We wanted them to stick around. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of having a successful, long-running show, that sometimes you lose cast members. We didn’t want it to happen, but it’s happened on ‘CSI.’ It’s happened on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Law & Order: SVU.’ Pretty much any network who’s had a successful, long-running show, at some point there’s some cast turnover. We didn’t want it to happen. We tried our darnedest to keep them.”
“Hawaii Five-0” added Meaghan Rath, Beulah Koale and Ian Anthony Dale as series regulars for season eight.
Kim broke his silence on leaving the series in a Facebook post to his fans in early July, saying, “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.”
“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,” he went on. “I will miss him sincerely. What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love. It has been nothing short of an honor to be able to showcase the beauty and people of Hawaii every week, and I couldn’t be prouder to call these islands home.”