Billy V: Daniel Dae Kim and Peter Lenkov response to actors leaving, holiday box office

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim is discussing his departure from the show for the first time today. In a post on social media, he said "the path to equality is rarely easy" and confirmed the news that he was not able to agree on a new contract with CBS. He did not go into details on that.But he did thank the network and the show's executive producers, saying quote: "I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho. I will miss him sincerely." We're posting Kim's entire statement on our Hawaii News Now social media accounts, so you can read his emotional message.  We're told Grace Park has no comment on the situation.  Critics say the loss of Kim and Grace Park from the show is a step backward in terms of diversity. There are reports that they were making 10 to 15 percent less than their white co-stars, Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan.

But Five-O executive producer Peter Lenkov appeared to dispute that claim in a recent tweet. A twitter user sent Lenkov a message saying: "as I am sure you have heard the rumor is they left because they weren't being paid equal 2 other cast-hope it's not true." In response, Lenkov wrote: "I take no stock in rumors."  Another twitter user said she'll miss Kim and Park this season...and that the show won't be the same without them.  Lenkov wrote: "I agree. But... No one will miss them more than me."

Meanwhile, Lenkov also posted this image to Instagram.  It shows a body board or small wooden surfboard with a logo that says "Hawaii Five-O season 8."  Lenkov's caption reads: "This Friday."  We're thinking it means that the blessing for the season is this Friday... which would make sense because production is reportedly scheduled to start this week.  We're waiting to hear back from CBS for confirmation.

Gru and his Minions are back in a BIG way - with world domination on their minds. "Despicable Me 3" stole the top spot at the box office over the long holiday weekend - raking in an estimated 86-point-4 MILLION bucks from Thursday to Monday. And - it COULD reach close to 100 million when *yesterday's numbers are tallied.

But the bad guys will have some competition THIS weekend - when "Spider-Man" swings into theaters this Friday. Star and local boy Jacob Batalon describes his instant chemistry with Web-slinger Tom Holland.Batalon plays Peter Parker's best friend in the movie. He graduated from Damien Memorial School - this is just his second movie.

Copyright 2017. Hawaii News Now. All Rights Reserved.