"If I couldn’t get pay equity after CRA, I can’t imagine what it would be like for anyone else"
Vox reports that Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim has exited the sequel after being offered 1/8th of her white male counterpart.
Lim was set to be a writer of 2018 film’s two upcoming sequels but has quit the project due to the massive pay gap between herself and Peter Chiarelli.
Unnamed sources state that Chiarelli would make $800,000 to $1 million from the two movies whist Lim would make $110,000 to $125,000.
Both Lim and Chiarelli were screenwriters for Crazy Rich Asians. Lim’s other credits include TV series Dynasty, Lethal Weapon, Life On Mars, One Tree Hill and Private Practice. Chiarelli’s writing credits include Now You See Me 2 and The Proposal.
Crazy Rich Asians grossed $34 million on its opening weekend, bringing in $174.5 million in total in the US and Canada. The film starring Constance Wu even broke an 11-year-old Labor Day weekend record.
Negotiations between Warner Bros and its Crazy Rich Asians writers regarding salaries were held last year. Lim reportedly rejected an offer to split Chiarelli’s salary and demanded to be paid the same.
Kevin Kwan, who wrote the book that the film was based on, wrote Crazy Rich Asians as part of a trilogy. 2015’s China Rich Girlfriend and 2017’s Rich People Problems followed on from the original story. Warner Bros has the option to complete the series on screen.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Lim said she held nothing against Chiarelli.
“Pete [Chiarelli] has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer,” Lim said. “If I couldn’t get pay equity after CRA, I can’t imagine what it would be like for anyone else, given that the standard for how much you’re worth is having established quotes from previous movies, which women of color would never have been [hired for].
“There’s no realistic way to achieve true equity that way,” she concluded.
In related news, Gook director Justin Chon recently said that Crazy Rich Asians did not represent the “majority” of Asian Americans.