The recent exits of the two Asian-American stars ahead of the drama’s eighth season raised questions about the pay disparity between them and their white counterparts, Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin.
“Not going to talk specifics about the deal or the negotiation,” Kahl replied in response to a question from TheWrap about the pay gap at a Television Critics Association panel. “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.”
“It’s kind of an unfortunate byproduct of having a successful, long-running show, that sometimes you lose cast members. We didn’t want it to happen, but it’s happened on ‘CSI,’ it’s happened on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Law & Order: SVU,'” Kahl added. “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.
“The truth is this: Both actors chose not to extend their contracts,” said “Five-0” showrunner Peter Lenkov of the Kim-Park departures last month. “CBS was extremely generous and proactive in their renegotiation talks. So much so, the actors were getting unprecedented raises, but in the end, they chose to move on.”
Kim told his side of the story on Facebook, which readers can check out in full here.
“The path to equality is rarely easy,” the “Lost” alum wrote.
“Hawaii Five-0” returns for Season 8 on Friday, Sept. 29, on CBS.