‘Crazy Rich Asians’ co-writer Adele Lim walks away from sequel because she wasn't getting paid as much as a white man

"Crazy Rich Asians" was groundbreaking; not only did the film help resuscitate the rom-com, a genre believed to be dead, but it paved the way for Asian representation in Hollywood. The film opened at No. 1 at the box office and made nearly $238.5 million worldwide, proving that inclusion is also viable. But when it comes to compensating female Asian writers, "Crazy Rich Asians" is business as usual.

The movie's co-writer, Adele Lim, left the franchise after finding out her white male counterpart would make ten times as much as her for the sequel. While Lim didn't specify how much more Peter Chiarelli, her male co-writer, would be making for the film, the Hollywood Reporter stated Chiarelli's starting offer was around $800,000 to $1 million, while Lim's was $110,000-plus.

Quotes are set based on experience, and per the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. didn't want to "set a troubling precedent in the business" by paying Lim more money. Lim had multiple TV credits under her belt, but no feature credits before "Crazy Rich Asians."


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It's not just about the money, but the systemic unfairness behind the pay disparity. It's harder for women to gain the experience that allows them to command a higher quote in the first place. How do you work your way up to that level when the doors are shut because of your race or gender? "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 movies, which women of color would never have been [hired for]. There's no realistic way to achieve true equity that way," Lim told the Hollywood Reporter.

The lower rate also implies that Lim's work is less valuable than her male counterpart's, despite the fact that she brought a lot to the table by providing nuances her co-writer couldn't because of her race and gender. "Being evaluated that way can't help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions," Lim said. She also feels women and people of color are used as "soy sauce." In other words, they're only there to add a cultural flavor to the project.

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Lim left the project last fall. Color Force (the production company behind "Crazy Rich Asians") spent five months looking for another writer of Asian descent to replace her, which kind of reinforces Lim's whole "soy sauce" point. Chiarelli offered to split his fee with Lim, and Color Force came back to her with an offer that would put her on equal footing with Chiarelli. Lim stood up for herself and passed. "Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn't be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer," she said.

There have been a lot of advances in gender parity because men are willing to stand up for and help out women, much like Chiarelli tried to do. It's nice to be reminded that you don't need a man to be the one to speak out on your behalf, you can do it on your own. In a way, it kind of feels like she stood up for us all.

Culture

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture