Grace Park on Hawaii Five-0 Exit: I Did 'What Was Best for My Integrity'

More than a year after departing Hawaii Five-0, original cast member Grace Park is opening up about her decision to leave the long-running CBS procedural behind after seven seasons.

Back in June 2017, it was announced that both Park and fellow series regular Daniel Dae Kim would not be return for Season 8. At the time, it was reported that they failed to secure pay parity with co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan — but in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Park says that “there were a number of factors spanning the show that affected the non-renewal of my contract.” And while she’s “grateful for the lessons learned,” she says, the choice to leave was ultimately “what was best for my integrity.”

Park doesn’t get into specifics, but rules out one reason for her departure. In the wake of the big announcement last June, Five-0 showrunner Peter M. Lenkov tweeted on Park’s behalf, suggesting that she left Five-0 to spend more time with her family.

“The whole situation was just a bit too charged for me,” she says. “I let him know, ‘That wasn’t cool that you made a statement on my behalf.’ … I know he did it to be helpful, and I care about Peter as a person, but I didn’t leave for that reason.”

To date, only Kim had commented on the situation, saying, “CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue.” Park, meanwhile, had remained mum, and even slipped away from a press scrum at the Television Critics Association summer press tour last month.

Lenkov said in July 2017, in the immediate wake of the double departure, “The truth is this: Both actors chose not to extend their contracts. CBS was extremely generous and proactive in their renegotiation talks. So much so, the actors were getting unprecedented raises, but in the end they chose to move on. No one wanted to see them go — they are irreplaceable.”

Park, meanwhile, is returning to primetime this fall as part of the ABC ensemble drama A Million Little Things (premiering Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 10/9c).

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