Daniel Dae Kim Says ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Exit Was a Matter of ‘Self-Worth’

TCA 2017: Kim and Grace Park exited CBS police drama over pay disparity with white co-stars

Daniel Dae Kim Hawaii Five-0

Daniel Dae Kim addressed his recent departure from CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0” on Sunday, saying that the decision came down to a “steadfast” sense of self-worth.

“[‘Hawaii Five-0’] was a really important part of my life for seven years, and I’m really grateful for CBS and everyone involved with the show for giving me the opportunity,” Kim said during a Television Critics Association panel for ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” which he executive produces. “I know them and I like them. And I’m grateful for the words they said on the panel the other day.”

“It’s possible to be grateful for the opportunity and respectful of the colleagues and the people that I work with, and maintain a steadfast sense of your self-worth,” he said.

Kim made headlines last month when he and co-star Grace Park exited the CBS police drama, raising questions about the pay disparity between them and their white counterparts, Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin.

Shortly after his exit was announced, Kim wrote a post on Facebook confirming that he and CBS “weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract.”

“I’ll end by saying that though transitions can be difficult, I encourage us all to look beyond the disappointment of this moment to the bigger picture,” the post read. “The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future.”

“Hawaii Five-0” showrunner Peter Lenkov later said Kim and Park turned down “unprecedented raises” in leaving the show, which CBS executive Kelly Kahl echoed at the network’s presentation last week.

“We love both those actors and did not want to lose them. We made very, very strong attempts to keep them and offered them a lot of money to stick around. We wanted them to stick around … We tried our darndest to keep them.”

“Hawaii Five-0” launched in September 2010 and is a reboot of the original series that signed off in 1980 after 12 seasons. It stars O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett), Caan (Danno Williams), Chi McBride (Lou Grover) and Jorge Garcia (Jerry Ortega). Masi Oka (Max Bergman) left the show during Season 7.

When the show returns for Season 8 on Sept. 29, Kim and Park will be replaced by new series regulars Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale.