‘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.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

As the nation helplessly watches our highest halls of government toss justice to the wind, a 2nd grader has given us someplace to channel our frustrations. In a hilarious video rant, a youngster named Taylor shared a story that has folks ready to go to the mat for her and her beloved, pink, perfect attendance pencil.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less