UPDATE: Daniel Dae Kim, who left CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" due to a dispute over equal pay with his white co-stars, posted a statement on Facebook on July 5 discussing his decision.
In it, he said he made himself available to star in the upcoming eighth season, but that he and CBS were unable to agree on a new contract. "As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude," he continued.
He also spoke about what it's like to be an Asian-American actor in Hollywood, "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."
"The path to equality is rarely easy," he added.
As further evidence of Hollywood's whiteness, "Hawaii Five-0" stars Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Chin Ho Kelly, and Grace Park, who plays Kono Kalakaua, have left the show after losing the fight for equal pay with their fellow co-stars, Variety reported.
CBS Television Studios, which produces the action series, presented a final offer that was reportedly 10 to 15 percent lower than the salaries of co-stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. O'Loughlin and Caan's deals also give them percentage points on the backend, but Kim and Park's didn't.
"I will never forget meeting Daniel while still writing the pilot and being certain there was no other actor who I'd want to play Chin Ho Kelly," executive producer Peter Lenkov said, according to Deadline. "Needless to say, Daniel has been an instrumental part of the success of 'Hawaii Five-0' over the past seven seasons and it has personally been a privilege to know him. Grace's presence gave 'Hawaii Five-0' a beauty and serenity to each episode. She was always the consummate collaborator, helping build her character from Day 1. They will always be ohana to us, we will miss them and we wish them all the best."
The upcoming eighth season's premiere will reference their characters' absence. Kim and Park had been with the reboot of the cop series since it began in 2010.
While Hollywood is making strides, albeit small ones, to be more inclusive and diverse, the institution as a whole has a long way to go.
Thumbnail/banner image credit: Flickr user Ewen Roberts