Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim quits show after being paid less than white co-stars

Daniel Dae Kim Hawaii Five-O

Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim has decided to quit the successful show after seven seasons. In a post on Facebook, the star was optimistic and also grateful for all the years together with the cast and crew. “Sorry for the delay in hearing from me, but like you I’m sure, my July 4th holiday was busy with friends and family. 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 said to say it is true. I will not be returning to Hawaii Five-O 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.”

He played the character of Chin Ho Kelly on Hawaii Five-O and has decided to walk out just before production for season 8 begins. “As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude. I am so deeply thankful to our crew, writers and everyone associated with the show – and especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process. They and the crew have been my second family for seven years and I wish them nothing but success for season 8 – and beyond.”

Though rumours were rife that he decided to quit because he was being paid much less than his white co-stars, Daniel decided to keep it positive, thanking everyone at CBS for all those successful years. “I also want to say thank you to Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci and everyone at CBS. I will always be grateful for their faith in me to bring Chin Ho Kelly to life. 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. I will miss him sincerely. What made him even more special is the 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. To my local community, mahalo nui loa.”

“Finally, I like to thank all of you, the fans. I’ve read your messages and I can’t tell you how much they’ve meant to me. I never, ever forget that YOU are the reason Hawaii Five-O is the success that it is, and interacting with you online and in person around the world (!) has been one of the greatest joys of this entire experience. I’m so sorry we won’t be continuing this journey together.”

But there is good news in store. The actor is taking a step up in his career, and will now be producing a show, The Good Doctor on rival network, ABC. “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. 5-O continues on after one of its strongest seasons, I’ve got new acting projects on the horizon, and as a producer, my company, 3AD, has its first show, THE GOOD DOCTOR, set to air this fall on ABC. I hope you’ll tune in. There’s a lot to look forward to and I’ll be sure to share it with you.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock, IMDb.com