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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ director Jon Chu says he’s ‘proud’ of Adele Lim for demanding equal pay

2019-09-10

“Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu said he’s “proud” of one of the movie’s writers, Adele Lim, for leaving the sequel after a dispute over equal pay.

“For those of you who are asking, you bet your a-- I stand with Adele,” Chu wrote in a lengthy statement. “I believed in her before we ever shot the movie and believe in her beyond.”

He said negotiations are “tough” and “messy” in the film industry and that he, the producers and studio executives worked to come up with a satisfactory solution.

“Unfortunately by the time we came up with several different ways to satisfy everyone’s needs, a lot of time had passed and she declined the offer,” Chu said. “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.”

The news of Lim’s departure came earlier this month.

She was offered significantly less than male co-writer Peter Chiarelli, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sources told the publication Warner Bros.' starting offers were $800,000 to $1 million for Chiarelli and $110,000-plus for Lim.

After about five months of fielding other writers of Asian descent to replace her, the studio came back to Lim in February with an offer closer to parity with Chiarelli, who volunteered to split his fee with her. Ultimately, she passed.

“Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer,” Lim told The Hollywood Reporter. “If I couldn’t get pay equity after (Crazy Rich Asians), 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 movies, which women of color would never have been (hired for.)”

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 ??

Support poured in for Lim’s decision and she later wrote on Twitter that she has “only love” for Chu and the cast and crew of Crazy Rich Asians.

“It was/is a movement and I’ll always root for its continued success,” Lim said.