hawaii five-0

Grace Park Talks About Leaving Hawaii Five-O: ‘I Chose What Was Best for My Integrity’

Grace Park. Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

In 2017, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim left CBS’s Hawaii Five-O reportedly over salary offers that did not match their white co-stars’ pay. While Kim discussed the reasons behind his departure at the time, saying that the “path to equality is never easy,” Park remained silent until now. In an interview with EW promoting her role in ABC’s A Million Little Things, Park talked about leaving Five-O for the first time, saying it was due to “a number of factors spanning the show,” seemingly not limited to pay. “I’m grateful for the lessons learned, but I chose what was best for my integrity,” Park said. “I know that people are always trying their best, and everyone’s coming from their own backgrounds,” she added. “Throughout the whole series, I kept trying to see the best in everybody… Would I do it all over again? I wouldn’t be so quick to say yes.… I’m still figuring stuff out. Sometimes people are just really good at burying stuff, and I think I’m like that.”

At the time, CBS said it had offered Park and Kim a “significant salary increase” — though not enough to match the pay of Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan — and it was reported that Park and Kim also negotiated separately, with Park receiving a lower offer. At the time, the show’s executive producer Peter Lenkov tweeted that Park had been away from her family filming for seven years, implying that played a part in her decision, though Park told EW that was inaccurate. “I let him know, ‘That wasn’t cool that you made a statement on my behalf,’” Park said. “I know he did it to be helpful, and I care about Peter as a person, but I didn’t leave for that reason.”

Later in EW’s story, Park complimented the positive, group-oriented mentality of her new series A Million Little Things, noting that though everyone doesn’t have the same salary starting out, they could be at parity a few seasons in. “I’m good leaving the boys’ club, and I’m hopeful for the future,” Park said. “I just look at this time as something that I went through. I didn’t understand it while I was going through it, but … You can’t always get back what you lost, but if you made it through, right now is the best time to watch the old structures fall.”

Grace Park Talks About Hawaii Five-O Exit for the First Time