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Daniel Dae Kim On 'Hawaii Five-0' Exit: 'The Path to Equality Is Rarely Easy'

Make that money, Daniel!

07/06/2017 10:14 EDT | Updated 07/06/2017 10:17 EDT

Daniel Dae Kim is refusing to stay silent on why he won't be in the upcoming season of the popular TV series, "Hawaii Five-0."

By now you've probably heard that the actor, along with co-star Grace Park, decided to leave the show after CBS Television Studios reportedly refused to raise their salaries to match those of their white co-stars, Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. According to Variety, both Kim and Park were being offered about 10 to 15 per cent less than O'Loughlin and Caan, and noted that both O'Loughlin and Caan get percentage points on the show's back end.

CBS via Getty Images
Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly. (Photo by Norman Shapiro/CBS via Getty Images)

It's an unfortunate situation, not only for the actors but for longtime fans of the show, who have been watching Kim and Park on the series since the very beginning.

Realizing that he needed to address his fans on what really happened, Kim took to his Facebook page on Wednesday and posted a long message about why he made the decision to leave the show.

"By now many of you have heard the news, and I'm sad to say it is true. I will not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 when production starts next week," Kim wrote. "Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren't able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue.

As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude."

Kim also thanked his fans for supporting him throughout the show and for his decision to leave after seven seasons.

"I've read your messages and I can't tell you how much they've meant to me. I never, ever forget that YOU are the reason Hawaii Five-0 is the success that it is, and interacting with you online and in person around the world(!) has been one of the greatest joys of this entire experience. I'm so sorry we won't be continuing this journey together."

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Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

And although he doesn't directly address the pay inequality between him and Park and their white colleagues, he did make a subtle reference about it, writing, "I'll end by saying that though transitions can be difficult, I encourage us all to look beyond the disappointment of this moment to the bigger picture. The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future. I am."

In response to Kim's Facebook post, CBS said it had offered "large and significant salary increases" to keep Kim and Park on the show.

"Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of 'Hawaii Five-0' for seven seasons," CBS said in a statement, according to Variety. "We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases. While we could not reach an agreement, we part ways with tremendous respect for their talents on screen, as well as their roles as ambassadors for the show off screen, and with hopes to work with them again in the near future."

CBS via Getty Images
Alex O'loughlin as Steve McGarrett, Scott Caan as Danny 'Danno' Williams, and Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Vanity Fair notes that Kim and Park got less screen time than their white co-stars, which may explain the pay discrepancy, however, it doesn't look good for the network as CBS has "repeatedly come under fire for its reluctance to cast non-white actors in lead roles. In that context, this ordeal doesn't look great no matter how you slice it."

And, as most of us know, Hollywood has a major problem when it comes to casting non-white actors in lead roles and whitewashing.