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Adele Lim, co-writer of the Asian hit: Crazy Rich Asians, has left the project as Warner Bros. plans to shoot two sequels back -to -back to accommodate its in-demand stars.

Last year Jon M. Chu’s adaption of Kevin Kwan’s romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians topped the box office (on its way to a $238.5 million global gross) and raised Asian representation in Hollywood to new heights. The sequels have been in discussion since then.

Despite the huge success, however, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, co-writer Adele Lim is no longer a part of the project.

At the issue is pay parity: Co-writer Peter Chiarelli, as an experienced feature scribe who broke out with 2009’s The Proposal, was to be paid a significantly higher fee than Lim, a veteran TV writer who never had penned a feature until Chu hired her to work on the screenplay. (Before Chu boarded the project, producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force already had enlisted Chiarelli to adapt Kevin Kwan’s 2013 best-selling novel).

“Being evaluated that way can’t help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions,” says Lim, who believes that women and people of color often are regarded as “soy sauce” — hired to sprinkle culturally specific details on a screenplay, rather than credited with the substantive work of crafting the story.

She declined to provide specific figures, but sources say that Warner Bros.’ starting offers were $800,000 to $1 million for Chiarelli and $110,000-plus for Lim. Warners explained to Lim’s reps that the quotes are industry-standard established ranges based on experience and that making an exception would set a troubling precedent in the business. The talks escalated to studio chairman Toby Emmerich, who backed his business affairs department’s stance.

Chiarelli offered to split his fee with Kim but she declined.
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“Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer,” she says in the THR article.

“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 colour would never have been (hired for). There’s no realistic way to achieve true equity that way.”

Chu intends to adapt both follow-ups to Kevin Kwan’s 2013 Crazy Rich Asians novel – China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems — back to back in order to accommodate his increasingly in-demand actors.

The stars have had big stuff going on for them since the release of the movie. Henry Golding (Nick Young) stars in the upcoming rom-com Last Christmas with Emilia Clarke, while Constance Wu (Rachel Chu) is starring alongside Jennifer Lopez in the upcoming Hustlers.

What do you think of Kim’s decision: Is she right by taking this stance or do you think she is being irrational?

By Tobee Awosika

Read also: Crazy Rich Asians Sequel To Shoot In China

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