Aloha may mean hello and goodbye, but in this case, it’s just goodbye.
Hawaii Five-O series regulars Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua) and Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly) are leaving the long-running show before Season 8 begins in the fall. The pair won’t appear in any upcoming episodes. The show plans to address their absence in the premiere.
Variety reports that the stars’ departure is based on pay equity. Apparently the twosome wanted the same salary as series costars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but couldn’t reach a deal with series producer CBS Television Studios. (The industry mag also reports that Park and Kim made 10 to 15 per cent less than O’Loughlin and Caan.)
“I will never forget meeting Daniel while still writing the pilot and being certain there was no other actor who I’d want to play Chin Ho Kelly,” said executive producer Peter Lenkov in a statement. “Needless to say, Daniel has been an instrumental part of the success of Hawaii Five-O over the past 7 seasons and it has personally been a privilege to know him.”
“Grace’s presence gave Hawaii Five-O a beauty and serenity to each episode,” he continued. “She was the consummate collaborator, helping build her character from day 1. They will always be ohana to us, we will miss them and we wish them both all the best.”
Both Kim and Park have been with the show since the classic program was rebooted in 2010.
“We are so appreciative of Daniel and Grace’s enormous talents, professional excellence and the aloha spirit they brought to each and every one of our 168 episodes,” said a representative for CBS. “They’ve helped us build an exciting new Hawaii Five-O, and we wish them all the best and much success in their next chapters. Mahalo and a hui hou.”
TVLine reports that the series is currently undergoing the casting process for a new series regular role — a lifeguard named Tani who was a former police academy candidate.