Though Daniel Dae Kim was on hand at the Television Critics Association summer press tour to promote ABC's new show The Good Doctor, on which he serves as an executive producer, it was only a matter of time before the actor was asked about his departure from CBS' Hawaii Five-0. Just a few seconds, as it turns out.
The first question asked by reporters was about his decision to leave the long-running CBS series, which was connected to a dispute over salary discrepancies between Kim, who is Korean, and his white co-stars Scott Caan and Alex O'Loughlin.
Kim was clearly more excited to talk about The Good Doctor, but he gamely responded to the question and offered more clarification about his decision to exit Hawaii Five-0.
"That was a really important part of my life for seven years, and I'm really grateful to CBS and everyone involved with the show for giving me the opportunity," Kim said. "I've known [CBS bosses] Kelly Kahl and Thom Sherman for a while, back from my days on Lost. I know them and I like them, and I'm grateful to them for the words they said on the panel the other day. That said, it's possible to be grateful for the opportunity and respectful of the colleagues and the people I worked with, and still maintain a steadfast sense of your self-worth."
The "self-worth" portion of the quote is the closest we've come to getting confirmation of the real reason behind his departure. Previously, Kim took to Facebook to express gratitude and said, "Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren't able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue." That's a fairly amiable statement. but now it's more obvious than ever that Kim felt slighted by not getting paid as much as his costars.
But Kim is already looking ahead.
"All good things come to an end," he continued. "I closed that chapter on Hawaii Five-0 and I began this new chapter on The Good Doctor, and I couldn't be more excited to be back at ABC, where I started my career in earnest, and to be working with such incredible people. This is the start of something new and I'm really grateful for that."
The Good Doctor premieres Monday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c on ABC.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)