Crazy Rich Asians co-writer quits sequel over pay disparity

Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim won't be working on the sequel after a dispute over pay disparity.

    2019/09/06

NSFW    LOS ANGELES — Crazy Rich Asians may have been groundbreaking for lots of reasons, but trumping ye old Hollywood pay gap is not one of 'em.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film's co-writer Adele Lim has dropped out of the sequel, after the studio lowballed her.

Sources say writer Peter Chiarelli was offered $800,000 to a million, but that the starting offer for Lim was a measly $110,000.

Studio execs justified the pay disparity by pulling out the experience card. But while Crazy Rich Asians may be the first feature film Lim has penned, she's got loads of TV writing credits and is hardly "inexperienced."

Plus, the success of the first film should speak for itself. If execs think the tired rom-com plot is what people came for, they should re-watch that mahjong scene.

The problem, says Lim, is that women of color are rarely credited with crafting the main story. Instead, they're mostly used as "soy sauce" to garnish the screenplay with culturally specific details.

After Lim walked away, the studio spent the next five months looking for another Asian to replace her, as if just any old Asian would do.

Eventually, they came crawling back to Lim with an offer from Chiarelli to split his fee with her.

She gave them a hard no, reasoning that what she makes shouldn't depend on the white-guy-writer's generosity.

Right on. Be like Adele, ladies. Don't be soy sauce.
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