UPDATED 5:02 P.M. Stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park have departed CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0.” Their characters, Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua, will not appear in the upcoming eighth season. The characters’ absence will be referenced in the season premiere.
Sources tell Variety that Park and Kim had been seeking pay equality with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but were unable to reach satisfactory deals with CBS Television Studios, which produces the series. CBS’s final offer to Kim and Park was believed to have been 10-15% lower than what O’Loughlin and Caan make in salary. O’Laughlin and Caan each have deals that also provide them percentage points on the show’s back end.
“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,” said executive producer Peter Lenkov. “Needless to say, Daniel has been an instrumental part of the success of ‘Hawaii Five-0’ over the past 7 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 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 both all the best.”
A CBS spokesperson said in a statement: “We are so appreciative of Daniel and Grace’s enormous talents, professional excellence and the aloha spirit they brought to each and every one of our 168 episodes. They’ve helped us build an exciting new Hawaii Five-0, and we wish them all the best and much success in their next chapters. Mahalo and a hui hou…”
Kim and Park have both been cast members on “Hawaii Five-O” alongside O’Loughlin and Caan since CBS premiered a rebooted version of the classic television cop show in 2010.
The “Hawaii Five-0” changes represent the latest in a series of cast overhauls at returning broadcast dramas. NBC’s “Taken” and ABC’s “Quantico” and “Once Upon a Time” have also parted ways with veteran cast members in the lead up to the coming season.