Daniel Dae Kim is now a producer on ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” but the shadow of leaving “Hawaii Five-0” is still hanging over him. At the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday, Kim addressed his exit from the long-running CBS series.
“[‘Hawaii Five-0’] was a really important part of my life for seven years,” he told reporters during the panel for “The Good Doctor.” “I’m really grateful to CBS and everyone involved in the show for the opportunity. I’ve known [CBS executives] Kelly [Kahl] and Thom Sherman for a while, Thom all the way back to my days on ‘Lost.’ I’ve gotten to know them and I like them, and I’m grateful for the words that they said on the panel the other day. That said, it’s possible to be grateful for the opportunity and have respect for your colleagues and still maintain a steadfast sense of your self-worth. And all good things come to an end. I closed that chapter on ‘Hawaii Five-O’ and I opened this new chapter on ‘The Good Doctor.’”
In July, Kim and co-star Grace Park left “Hawaii Five-0” over disparity between their pay and that of their white colleagues Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. At the time, Kim confirmed the news on Facebook, and wrote, “The path to equality is rarely easy.” He also pointed to his work as a producer, able to control the stories being told, as one way to increase the opportunities for Asian American representation.
Earlier this month, CBS executives Kahl and Sherman also appeared at the CBS day of the TCA and addressed Kim and Park leaving the “Hawaii Five-0.”
“We love both those actors, and we did not want to lose them,” said Kahl said. “We made strong attempts to keep them and offered them a lot of money to stick around… it was purely a business transaction.”
Kim is now an executive producer alongside “House” creator David Shore on ABC’s new medical drama “The Good Doctor,” in which Freddie Highmore plays Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome.
“It started as a Korean series,” said Kim. “I love the message of it…It was a crucial element to bring someone like David aboard.”
Although Kim is now free to act on other shows, he may not appear on “The Good Doctor” anytime soon. “I’m really content being behind the scenes,” he said. “It’s in good hands of David and the cast… I’m constantly impressed by the performances. It’s been fascinating for me to swatch their work as a producer… At some point I’d love to play with them.”
“The Good Doctor” premieres on Sept. 25 on ABC.