After Hawaii Five-O stars Daniel Dae-Kim and Grace Park announced their departure from the long running, CBS show, the network now finds itself faced with another issue.
The departure, which is said to be because Dae-Kim and Park pushed for pay parity with their White co-stars, opened the door to questions about the network’s huge lack of diversity —with people of color and women.
Taking part in the Television Critics Association press conference held on Tuesday, CBS executives Kelly Kahl and Thom Sherman were forced to hear and answer uncomfortable questions relating to the issues from unsatisfied reporters. Growing visibly frustrated throughout the 30-minute grill session, both execs did their best to smooth the concerns of the public over, but to no avail.
“The way things turned out, those pilots were not felt to be as good as some of the other series that were picked up,” noted Sherman after revealing that the network did not develop female-led shows in 2017. “That’s just the cycle of business and how it happens sometimes.”
Kahl, however, attempted to assure the crowd that progress is being made in opening the door to diversity, but admitted that other stations — specifically calling out FX — are quicker with series developments that promote diversity both in front of and behind the camera. “I’m not sure I can speak to why it’s taking longer [for CBS],” he claimed.
As reported by Deadline, a critic noted that two CBS pilots cast Caucasian actors in roles written as minority, asking whether the fact that CBS’ casting department consists entirely of white executives has something to do with such decisions.
“We are cognizant of the issue, we hear you and we will be looking to expand the casting department,” Sherman said.
Let’s hope that we can see a change sooner than later.