I was bothered by Peter Lenkov’s released statement regarding the departure of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from the long running hit show, Hawaii Five-0.




Bothered by his use of the Hawai’ian language as somehow he’s one with the people. Bothered by his positioning that Park and Kim were offered “unprecedented raises.” Bothered by his need to counter any negative opinions that may arise from expelling the two Asian Pacific leads in a show based in a state that is predominantly Asian Pacific.

But I was also bothered by the fact that Lenkov persists in claiming that his show, of which he is creator and Executive Producer, is the most diverse show on television.

It is not.

Of the five broadcast networks, it is not even the most diverse television show on Friday night.

Rosewood, now cancelled, claims that title.

The Leads

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In fact in the 2016-2017 television season, Lenkov’s show airs opposite two shows that each starred Latinos, one based in Chicago and the other based, in part, in Kansas.

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Additionally, Ken Jeong and Morris Chestnut were the outright leads in their Friday night shows. Oddly, both were cancelled. Before you jump to any correlation between cancellation and diversity in cast, most of the shows that aired Friday night are either cancelled or reality-based–some of those ended this past season as well.


Furthermore, Dean Cain, Nick Cannon, Tyra Banks, John Quinones, and Lester Holt were among the hosts of some of the aired Friday night reality shows.

The Second Leads

Let’s take the second leads. Grimm‘s second lead was African American. So was Sleepy Hollow‘s. (Yes, cancelled.) While H50 has Chi McBride, he’s not the second lead. Scott Caan would be considered that.

The Team

Let’s not forget that the two that played native Hawai’ians were given less airtime in the early years of the show, supplanted by Terry O’Quinn, Lauren German, and Michelle Borth. And that most of the guest stars are white. But sure, of the top 5 actors on the show, H50 has two Asian Pacifics and one African American along with the two Caucasian leads.


Lucifer has two African Americans and one Latino in its top five, on par with H50.

So, comparing all the diversity on television on just that one night, the claim that H50 is one of the most diverse shows on television is far-reaching at best. It can’t even compete on Friday.

Hmm, Pay Equity

Circling back to Lenkov’s statement about CBS’ “generous offer.” It’s been reported that Kim and Park turned down salaries which would put their earning 15% less than their co-stars. So if they were offered an extremely generous offer as Lenkov and CBS claim, their pay over these seven years must have been extremely unbalanced.

–Ken Choy


P.S. It does look like Lenkov went straight down his show’s imdb page but skipped naming Donnell J. Williams, maybe because his appearances were minuscule on the 22 episodes he shot or maybe because his photo doesn’t appear on the site and Lenkov doesn’t know.


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