Hawaii Five-O Actors Leave CBS over Pay Inequality
When I was younger, my grandmother bought me some sleepers that resembled what you might wear during a vacation to Hawaii. My uncle thought that the pants were so amusing that whenever I wore them, he would call me “Hawaii Five-O” after the popular television show of the 60s and 70s. Flash forward to today, and the rebooted version of Hawaii Five-O, and the network it airs on, CBS, have found themselves in controversy directly related to allegations of racial discrimination.
Earlier this week, two of Hawaii Five-O’s lead actors, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, who are both Asian-American, announced that they were leaving the show due to CBS reportedly offering them between 10-15% less than their Caucasian co-stars. CBS has since responded, stating that it offered “significant salary increases” to Kim and Park, yet did not flat out deny that it did offer less money to Kim and Park. Interestingly enough, this comes on the heels of a week in which CBS announced that it signed off on a document petitioning for Title VII to extend its protections to prohibit businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
Although most consider the entertainment business to be more progressive in its ideology, it is interesting to see that race and national origin discrimination is prevalent even in some of its most notable movies and networks. While there has been some progress, the prevalence of race and national origin discrimination in these instances is a stark reminder of how far we still need to go to reach the ultimate goal of income equality regardless of a person’s race or national origin.
If you or someone you know find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being discriminated against because of their race or national origin, please do not hesitate to contact me, a discrimination attorney, and schedule a free initial consultation in Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati.