After Daniel Dae Kim spoke out about his and co-star Grace Park’s highly publicized exit from Hawaii Five-0, the network said Wednesday it offered “large and significant salary increases” to the two stars in a bid to keep them on the show.
Last week, it was announced that both original cast members would exit ahead of the procedural’s eighth season, which kicked off production this week. Kim posted a lengthy Facebook message to fans explaining that he decided to leave the show after contract negotiations with the network failed. Kim and Park reportedly had been seeking equal pay with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.
CBS released this statement in response on Wednesday: “Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of Hawaii Five-0 for seven seasons. We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for 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.”
Following the news of their departures, social media lit up with complaints that the show was axing two actors of Asian descent. Park and Kim’s exits come after Masi Oka, who played Dr. Max Bergman since early in season 1, exited Hawaii Five-0 during season 7.
Though the duo won’t continue with the show, viewers will find out what happened to their characters in the season premiere. At the end of last season, Kono (Park) left the team to investigate a child sex trafficking ring, while Chin (Kim) was offered an opportunity to start up a San Francisco task force. As EW previously reported, the show is casting a new female series regular (details here).
Hawaii Five-0 will return Friday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.