Hawaii Five-0 fans are still reeling from the recent news that original cast members Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park will not be returning when the series picks back up for season 8. And who can blame them? Both Kim and Park were with the series since it debuted in 2008, and their characters — Chin Ho Kelly (Kim) and Kono Kalakaua (Park) — helped complete the ensemble cast.
Now, with the series gearing up to pick back up for season 8 without two key players, we want to know whether you will still be tuning in come fall.
For what it’s worth, Kim doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings toward the show. Writing about his departure on Facebook yesterday (July 5), the actor said that he decided to leave the series after failing to reach a new agreement with the network.
“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. 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,” said Kim.
The actor made a point to thank the cast and crew of Hawaii Five-0 (which includes costars Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Cann and Masi Oka), and even wished them well on the upcoming season.
“As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude,” wrote Kim. “I am so deeply thankful to our crew, writers and everyone associated with the show – and especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process. They and the crew have been my second family for seven years and I wish them nothing but success for season 8 – and beyond.”
On the heels of Kim’s post, CBS released a statement to make it clear that the network didn’t let the stars go easily.
“Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of Hawaii Five-0 for seven seasons,” CBS said Wednesday (July 5) in a statement that was reported by JustJared. “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.”
The amicable way in which both parties are handling the split (Park has yet to speak out about her exit), certainly makes it easier for fans to accept the fact that the actors are ready to move on. However, there’s no doubt that their characters’ absence will be felt when the drama returns. So where do you stand on Hawaii Five-0 season 8? Will you continue to watch the show? Or are these two exits enough to make you change the channel?