Following the fallout over the pay disparity involving “Crazy Rich Asians” screenwriter Adele Lim, the film’s director Jon M. Chu has addressed the issue in a lengthy post on social media this week.
Last week came word that Lim, a veteran TV writer of nearly twenty years, was given an initial offer to co-write the ‘Asians’ sequel that was around one-eighth that of her co-writer Peter Chiarelli who himself only had one or two film credits to his name before both were hired to work on the first film.
Lim refused such a lowball offer, and so the studio looked for a replacement but couldn’t find anyone after months of searching. They came back with a higher offer, but Lim rejected it on principal and used the issue to shine a light on the issue of gender pay disparity.
Chu writes this week that he stands by Lim and her decision to part ways with the film, confirming when he learned that Lim was unhappy with her initial offer, he and others made an effort to reach pay parity between the two writers. Lim ultimately declined the offer. Chu writes:
“These things happen in negotiations, and I’m proud that she was able to stand up for her own measure of worth and walk away when she felt like she was being undervalued. I agree with Adele that parity for women and people of color is crucial to the continued enlightenment of our industry and we still have a long way to go. What I discovered personally through this process is there are still things to debate amongst ourselves (like value of experience [vs.] lack of opportunity, tv [vs.] film writing, work experience [vs.] life experience, creative contribution valuations etc) which I am sure won’t be simple answers but I know we must try to figure it out to keep the needle moving.”
Over the weekend, Lim also posted to social media her continued support of Chu, Chiarelli and the “Crazy Rich Asians” franchise itself.
For those of you who are asking… pic.twitter.com/1SoFLrUBbF
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) September 9, 2019