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“Hawaii Five-0” executive producer Peter Lenkov is weighing in on the show’s eighth season and its recent cast shakeup.
CBS said in a statement during the summer that Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly) and Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua) were leaving despite being offered “large and significant salary increases.” But Kim appeared to offer a different narrative when he wrote in a goodbye message posted to social media, “The path to equality is rarely easy,” suggesting that he wasn’t offered as much as the show’s white cast members.
Lenkov - TheWrap - Show - Commitment - Diversity
Lenkov told TheWrap it was “shocking” when the show’s commitment to diversity was questioned in the news and by fans on social media.
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“People misinterpreted how it went down, and that’s a little bit of a shame because I don’t think people had all the information,” he said. “You can’t watch the show and say that we’re not a diversity-forward show at all. I mean, you just look at the poster for the core four that started the show, you’d see it right there.”
According to Lenkov, Kim and Park were on the verge of exiting the show even before contract negotiations began, and that much of the dialogue in the media “came out of misinformation.” Lenkov also pointed out that the decision to keep Chin Ho and Kono alive means that the characters could potentially return down the road.
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“Chin Ho goes to San Francisco to start his own task force, and Kono’s on this very personal mission,” he continued. “So it plays into the show’s theme of legacies.”
Lenkov - Season - Characters - Mix - Part
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