Actor Daniel Dae Kim says he has no hard feelings about ending his seven-year stint on “Hawaii Five-0” in the wake of a salary dispute.
“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, 48, said in part in a long Facebook post Wednesday. “As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude,” he professed. “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.”
From the show’s premiere in 2010, Kim played Hawaii Five-0 Task Force member Chin Ho Kelly, an ex-Honolulu police detective who had been wrongly accused of corruption. On Friday, Variety and others reported that Kim and fellow cast-member Grace Park had been attempting to reach equal pay with castmates Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but that the production company CBS Television Studios balked. Park, who has no social-media accounts and has not publicly commented, also exited the show, leading many observers to note the pay discrepancy between the two Asian-American stars and the two Caucasian stars.
“As an Asian American actor, I know firsthand 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 . . . 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, wrote Kim, previously best known as Korean husband Jin-Soo Kwon on the 2004-2010 series “Lost.”
“What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love,” Kim continued. “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.”
Kim concluded with a note that his company, 3AD, has its first show, “The Good Doctor,” set to air this fall on ABC. The medical drama, from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios, stars Freddie Highmore as a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. Kim is an executive producer.