Culture

'Crazy Rich Asians' female writer quits sequel over pay disparity

'Crazy Rich Asians' female writer quits sequel over pay disparity”

The sequel all-Asian cast movie, which opened on the number spot a year ago, has found itself in trouble after co-writer Adele Lim quit the project.

Lim's representatives were told by Warner that the industry-standard quotes are based on experience. "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 films, which women of color would never have been [hired for]".

Lim, a veteran TV writer who had not written for film before "Crazy Rich Asians", last fall was offered a small fraction of the money that had been offered to her co-writer, veteran screenwriter Peter Chiarelli, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She didn't provide exact numbers, but said that her starting offer was $110,000+, while her colleague's was in the $800,000 to $1 million range. "There's no realistic way to achieve true equity that way", she says.

Awkwafina, who starred in Crazy Rich Asians, is set to star in the upcoming film.

After Lim quit, Color Force (the production company behind CRA) reportedly spent five months looking for other writers of Asian descent to fill Lim's role (really highlighting the "soy sauce" tokenization there) before coming back to Lim.

Adele Lim, a veteran television writer who helped to bring Singaporean author Kevin Kwan's book to life a year ago, said in a Hollywood Reporter story that she was offered significantly less than co-screenwriter Peter Chiarelli to work on the sequel to the blockbuster hit that was lauded for bringing Asian American narratives to a mainstream audience and boosting the profile of underrepresented Asian American actors in Hollywood.

She said Chiarelli had been "incredibly gracious" but insisted her pay "shouldn't be dependent on the generosity of the white guy writer". "The Proposal" scripter Chiarelli had even offered to split his fee with her, THR said.

The sequel, based on the book follow-up "China Rich Girlfriend", is still moving forward.

"Crazy Rich Asians" was the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to feature an all-Asian main cast. "You want it to come from an authentic perspective".

"We've been keeping it under wraps for so long I think my family thought I was lying when I said I was working for a Disney feature animation", Lim said in August at the D23 Expo. "Our focus isn't on the timeline, it's on getting the story right", she added.



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