Tuesday, July 11, 2017

More fallout from Grace Park's and Daniel Dae Kim's walking away from 'Hawaii Five-0'

Ins Choi performs a poem in honor of the stancce taken by Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim.

THE UNCEREMONIOUS DEPARTURE from Hawaii Five-0 of two of television's most prominent Asian/American actors  continues to be felt throughout the entertainment industry. 

Attempts to reduce the controversy to a simple matter of money have only served to act as fuel to the fire.

“This issue goes beyond compensation,” read a statement from the Council of Korean Americans. “It highlights the ongoing problem of lack of diversity in Hollywood and that people of color, especially Asians, are considered peripheral, second-class and disposable.”

The CKA announced on Friday (July 7) that it has asked its constituents to place phone calls to CBS Television Studios president David Stapf and head of drama development Bryan Seabury to voice complaints over contract negotiations that led the two actors to leave the cop procedural.


The headline of a column by Variety critic Sonia Saraiya read "CBS made the wrong call on Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park."

"Asian/Americans already face many issues in Hollywood, including typecasting and whitewashing.," said Rep. Grace Meng, D-NY. "The entertainment industry continues to struggle with accurately portraying Asian American stories and including diverse characters. Not paying artists fairly further increases these problems by putting up barriers for Asian American performers to break through in the industry. I call upon Hollywood studios and producers to address pay inequity, offensive stereotypes, and lack of Asian American representation on and off screen.”

The stance taken by Park and Kim may have ramifications beyond the entertainment world. Their real-life stand makes them even more real role models than being just characters on a show could.

The two Asian/American actors' acts of defiance or standing up for themselves might serve as role models for those who see very few examples of assertive Asian/Americans on the big or small Hollywood screens, a problem described in Self by Nancy Wang Yuen. They can also be inspirational for other Asian/Americans, women and other minorities who face pay equity issues in other lines of work such as in the high-tech industry or in the field of medicine

Ins Choi — the playwright and star of the Off Broadway play Kim’s Convenience — performed his poem “Mine Eyes Are Lean” after the show. Part of the production’s Soulpepper Cabaret series, the spoken-word poetry was dedicated to Kim and Park, as Choi recounted his history of auditioning for parts as an Asian actor.

This video was taken by New York theater videographer Howard Sherman.