Tuesday, August 1, 2017

'Hawaii Five-0' bolsters its AAPI cast

Fan favorite Taylor Wily's role will increase in Hawaii Five-0

Kimee Balmilero
APPARENTLY still feeling the brunt of outrage when Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park left Hawaii Five-0, the show's producers announced that recurring cast members Taylor Wily, Kimee Balmilero and Dennis Chun were elevated to regular  cast members.

Beth Haiken, vice president of CBS Entertainment Communications, confirmed the change in status to the Star-Advertiser.
Dennis Chun

The upgrade of the three, plus the addition of three new characters played by AAPI actors Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath and Beulah Koale, increases the presence of AAPI characters 200 percent.
Wily, who portrays Kemekona, is of Samoan descent and hails from Laie. Balmilero, who plays Dr. Noelani Cunha, is of Filipino descent is from Kaneohe.

Chun, who plays the role of Sgt. Duke Lukela, also grew up in Hawaii. He is the son of Kam Fong, who played Chin Ho Kelly in the original Hawaii Five-0.

When Park and Kim left the show after seven seasons, criticism of the show raised the issue that the series didn't reflect the true composition of the many peoples of Hawaii because it focused on the two white characters played by Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan.

With the producers talk about ohana and claims that race had nothing to do with Kim and Park's departures, hopefully there will be an increase in storylines featuring the new AAPI characters. Diversity is getting cast, but inclusion is getting a back-story.