The producer of US TV show Hawaii Five-0 has spoken out about the departure of two cast members following reports the pair asked to be paid the same as their white co-stars.
Peter Lenkov said Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were offered “unprecedented raises” but “chose to move on”.
“It’s heartbreaking, but this happens on long-running shows,” he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.
Kim and Park have appeared in the show since its inception in 2010.
According to Variety, the pair had been seeking the same salaries as stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan but were being offered between 10 and 15 percent less.
In his statement, Lenkov said CBS – the studio behind the reboot of the classic 1970s TV show – had been “extremely generous and proactive in their renegotiation talks”.
“In the end, everyone tried their best to keep the ohana” – a Hawaiian word for family – “intact”.
Lenkov went on to stress that Hawaii Five-0 “has and will continue to showcase one of the most diverse casts on TV”.
Production begins next week on the eight season of the show, which will have its premiere on CBS on 29 September.
Kim confirmed his departure earlier this week on Facebook, saying he had “made the difficult choice not to continue” after failing to reach an agreement with CBS.
“The path to equality is rarely easy,” he wrote in a lengthy post in which he encouraged his fans “to look beyond the disappointment of this moment to the bigger picture”.
Park has yet to comment on leaving her role as officer Kono Kalakaua.
“Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of Hawaii Five-0 for seven seasons,” said CBS earlier this week.
“We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases.”
Jack Lord and James McArthur played Detective Steve McGarrett and colleague Danny Williams in the original TV series, which ran from 1968 to 1980.
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