Adele Lim, a contributor for Crazy Rich Asians has reignited the flame to the already existing controversies surrounding pay disparities in Hollywood. She has chosen to walk away from the film.
What We Know:
- Set to return as a sequel, Crazy Rich Asians follows the love story of a Chinese-American Professor and her Asian boyfriend as they travel to Singapore to attend a wedding and to meet his family. Rachel Chu, played by Constance Wu, is taken on a whirlwind of emotions as she discovers her boyfriend’s family is amongst the wealthiest families in Singapore.
- The film, an adaptation of the novel written by Kevin Kwan, performed extremely well at the box office bringing in $235.8 million globally. It did so well that the next two books in the series were given the green light for adaptations as well. The film is also the most profitable romantic comedy ever produced by Warner Bros.
- Adele Lim, the only screenwriter for Crazy Rich Asians of Southeast Asian descent, adds a type of credibility and authenticity that cannot be duplicated in any writer that’s behind the scenes of the film.
- Lim has declined to give specific figures, but sources say the starting offers were $800,000 to $1 million for Peter Chiarelli, who broke out in 2009 with the film The Proposal and $110,000-plus for Lim who is a veteran TV writer with no pinned features until Crazy Rich Asians. Warner Bros explained to Lim’s representatives that the quotes are industry-standard established ranges based on experience.
- Lim chose to walk away from the deal last fall and the production company Color Force spent five months canvassing for another writer of Asian descent to fill the position. Yet, there was no luck. They came back to Lim in February with an offer closer in consistence with Chiarelli, who even volunteered to split his fee with her, but Lim declined.
- Lim told the Hollywood Reporter that she believes women and people of color are often regarded as “soy sauce, hired to sprinkle culturally-specific details on a screenplay rather than credited with the work of crafting the story.”
- Jon M. Chu, who will go on to direct the next two adaptations, definitely stands with Lim. He stated, “you bet your ass I stand with Adele.” He took to Twitter with a very lengthy statement.
For those of you who are asking… pic.twitter.com/1SoFLrUBbF
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) September 9, 2019
- Adele Lim took to Twitter with a heartfelt message. She goes on to tweet, “It’s been a week. My gratitude to the countless people who voiced their support. To people going through their own fight – you are not alone. Also, I have only love for @jonmchu and the cast & crew of #CRA. It was/is a movement and I’ll always root for its continued success.
- Warner Bros. has declined to comment on statements made by Chu.
Adele Lim says there is a perception that Hollywood is liberal, “but the truth of the matter is, I’ve been in a lot of writer’s rooms where this is a ton of implicit bias… If your showrunner is a certain kind of white guy, you need to hit that certain kind of white guy voice” pic.twitter.com/bgDqC3mBlV
— Variety (@Variety) May 9, 2019
Adele’s choice to walk away shows strength and courage, she continues to use her platform to shed light on issues such as diversity and pay disparities which are often overlooked in Hollywood.