Hawaii Five-0: Daniel Dae Kim addresses 'difficult' exit
'I'm sorry we won't be continuing this journey together,' Kim said to his fans
UPDATE: CBS issued a statement Wednesday evening saying Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were both offered "large and significant salary increases" and that the network is parting 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."
EARLIER: After a few days of silence, Daniel Dae Kim is opening up about leaving Hawaii Five-0.
Last week, news broke that Kim and costar Grace Park would not be returning for the CBS procedural's eighth season, which begins production this week. In a touching Facebook post addressed to his fans, Kim — one of the show's original cast members — explained that he decided to leave after contract negotiations with the network fell through.
"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 wrote.
Kim used the lengthy post to express his gratitude to the cast and crew. "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," he said.
Thanking executive producers Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, he said, "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."
He continued, "What made him even more special is that 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."
The Lost alum also thanked the fans, saying that interacting with them has been one of the greatest joys of his life. "I"m sorry we won't be continuing this journey together," he said.
Noting that both transitions and "the path to equality" can be difficult, Kim encouraged his fans to be hopeful about the future, not only because Hawaii Five-0 is coming off of "one of its strongest seasons," but also because he's excited about what he has coming down the pike.
"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," he wrote. "There's a lot to look forward to and I'll be sure to share it with you."
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Hawaii Five-0 returns Friday, Sept. 29 on CBS.