It’s been four years since Daniel Dae Kim exited Hawaii Five-0, and the actor is now speaking out about it.
Kim and co-star Grace Park sought salary parity with Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but they both exited the series at the close of Hawaii Five-0 Season 7 when the network did not give them the same salary as their co-stars.
Kim chatted with Vulture about what went down while also revealing that he took a significant pay cut from Lost to Hawaii Five-0.
“One thing that has never really properly been reported is the amount of pay cut I took to do Hawaii Five-0 from Lost,” he said, adding:
“It was drastic, and it was never made up.”
His aim when his original contract with Hawaii Five-0 was coming to an end at the close of Season 7 was to make up the “significant” difference in pay between him and O’Loughlin and Caan.
Kim said that he asked CBS to “make us all equal. Make us all the ensemble that I thought we always were, and get me back to where I was with Lost.”
“I didn’t think that was an unreasonable position to take,” Kim continued to the outlet.
“It was very clear and simple. I was very transparent about it with my castmates, with my showrunner, with the studio from the start. It became much more dramatic because of the way that it didn’t come together.”
Kim also spoke about joining forces with fellow Asian-American cast member Park to negotiate a pay increase.
“The two things we had in common were that our contracts were up at the same time and we were both Asian American on a show in Hawaii, where the Asian American population is significant.”
He also spoke about his relationships with some of his co-stars changing due to his negotiations for parity.
“I think any time you have an ensemble of actors, everyone’s objectives are unique and individual,” he shared.
“So it’s hard for me to collectively say whether they were allies in this…. I do know that the way things got spun by the end changed my relationships with them.”
CBS previously claimed that it had tried to keep both Kim and Park as part of the ensemble with “large and significant salary increases.”
“While we could not reach an agreement, we part ways with tremendous respect for their talents on screen, as well as their roles as ambassadors for the show off screen, and with hopes to work with them again in the near future,” the network shared in July 2017 in response to a Facebook post Kim shared announcing his exit.
Hawaii Five-0 concluded on CBS in April 2020 at the close of its tenth season.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.