Hawaii Five-0: The Saga Continues as Showrunner Peter Lenkov Weighs In

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If you've ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes during a major broadcast television network's salary discussions, this is about as close as you're going to get to the action.

The struggle is real, as is evident from the days-long public discussion that has ensued after it was revealed series co-stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were exiting the long-running drama.

While Park has remained mum on the issue, Kim issued a passionate Facebook post to fans about his departure and how it related to salary parity.

Lenkov Cast

Among the comments Kim made in reference to salary parity are the following:

As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho. I will miss him sincerely.

Kim also noted: The path to equality is rarely easy.

CBS then issued a response defending their position, stating they offered "large and significant" salary increases, but the actors had decided to move on despite being "important and valued" members of the Hawaii Five-0 family since the series began.

Well, none of that did anything to settle the debate. In fact, it only stirred the pot even further.

Lenkov and Kim

Today showrunner Lenkov shared a letter with his fans on Twitter thanking them for their continued support and sharing the truth as he views it.

"The truth is this: both actors chose not to extend their contracts 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.

"No one wanted to see them go – they are irreplaceable.

After being away from her family for seven years, I understood Grace's decision to leave. There was an opportunity for her to return for a handful of episodes, but for several reasons that didn't work out.

"In the end, everyone tried their best to keep the ohana intact. So much so, we were holding off from reporting the news, hoping an agreement could still be reached.

"Yes, it's heartbreaking, but this happens on long-running shows. It is a hurdle we all worked hard trying to overcome.

"In our 168 episodes, Hawaii Five-0 has and will continue to showcase one of the most diverse casts on TV: Chi McBride, Jorge Garcia, Mark Dacascos, Ian Anthony Dale, Will Yun Lee, Masai Oka, Dennis Chun, Taylor Wily, Shawn Garnett, Kimee Balmilero, Kekoa Kekumano, Shawn Anthony Thomsen, as well as Daniel and Grace … all of these great talents regulars or recurring.

"I'm proud of that roster and of our show."

Peter Lenkov and Alex

In his very informative letter, Lenkov addressed something fans needed to hear: why they were only learning of the casting one week before shooting was to begin on Hawaii Five-0 Season 8.

We're not going to get the details of the salary negotiations.

But if the salary increases were not satisfactory, then agents must not have been able to adequately acquire percentages of back end deals on aftermarket and international sales for their clients.

Needless to say, this is unlikely to be the last we'll hear about this negotiation.

If we're hearing this much about Hawaii Five-0, we'll probably hear about other contracts as the industry struggles to determine what salary parity really means.

We know you have thoughts, so while you watch Hawaii Five-0 online wishing you were having a beautiful tropical vacation, share them below!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Hawaii Five-0 Quotes

I'm sure this is about Grace and Will and I look forward with great anticipation to see how this plays out. We've got a case so if you wouldn't mind.


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