‘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."


RELATED: Snoop Dogg championing equal pay for women: 'Pay them ladies, man'

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.

RELATED: Megan Rapinoe says the best way to support equal pay is by putting your money where your mouth is

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.

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less