Hollywood’s gender pay gap issues sadly continue. This time they’re affecting the Crazy Rich Asians sequels. THR reports that Adele Lim has left the sequels, which will shoot back-to-back, over a pay disparity with her co-writer Peter Chiarelli.
After the huge success of the first film, director Jon M. Chu had hoped to keep the same creative team on board for the sequels. However, Warner Bros. has refused to pay the writers equally. The studio wanted to pay between $800,000 and $1 million for Chiarelli, and $110,000-plus for Lim.
Warner Bros. argues that these are “industry-standard established ranges based on experience and that making an exception would set a troubling precedent in the business”, but as many have rightly pointed out, Lim has already had a hand in rocketing the first film to positive reviews and over $238 million worldwide. That’s her experience.
Chiarelli reportedly offered to split his salary with Lim, but she rightly argued that he shouldn’t have to make less because of the studio’s idiocy. The racial angle is also not a good look here. The studio is basically arguing that Chiarelli, a white man, is more important than an Asian woman, born and raised in Malaysia, to a franchise literally titled Crazy Rich Asians.
So for now, Lim is out. However, considering the press this story is getting, expect Warner Bros. to soon cave with a half-hearted apology and a hollow promise to not let this happen again. For now, Chiarelli and Chu continue working on the scripts for the sequels based on Kevin Kwan‘s books China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.