Alo-whaaaat in the world is going on?
In 2018 CBS dropped a bombshell by revealing both Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim were departing the series. The two original members of the Hawaii Five-0 team left after failing to secure pay equality with their fellow cast members, Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. According to Variety, Park and Kim's compensation dispute was worsened by the fact that both O'Loughlin and Caan also received backend profits from Hawaii Five-0.
At the time, Kim publicly discussed his decision to not return in a Facebook message. "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," wrote Kim. "The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future."
Park has remained silent about her departure until now. "There were a number of factors spanning the show that affected the non-renewal of my contract," Park stated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I'm grateful for the lessons learned, but I chose what was best for my integrity."
Pay disparity wasn't the only reason Park said goodbye to Hawaii Five-0. "Throughout the whole series, I kept trying to see the best in everybody," explained Park. "Would I do it all over again? I wouldn't be so quick to say yes… I'm good leaving the boys' club, and I'm hopeful for the future."
At the time, Hawaii Five-0 executive producer Peter Lenkov tweeted about how Park had been "away from her family for seven years" and wanted to spend more time with them. As it turns out, this wasn't the case at all and the Twitter statement did not sit well with Park.
"I let him know, 'That wasn't cool that you made a statement on my behalf,'" disclosed Park in the same interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I know he did it to be helpful, and I care about Peter as a person, but I didn't leave for that reason."
Park and Kim's exit encouraged the ongoing conversation about the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood. In a Vanity Fair article, writer Laura Bradley rightfully emphasized that out of the four main cast members, Park and Kim were the most successful actors when Hawaii Five-0 debuted in 2010. Park was coming off the well-received, sci-fi hit Battlestar Galactica, while Kim made a major splash on Lost. "In this case, it's also worth asking why Park and Kim were ever cast in supporting roles in the first place," wrote Bradley in her Vanity Fair article.
Do you think Park handled the controversy well? Do you miss her on Hawaii Five-0? Hit the comments to dish and discuss all your unfiltered commentary.