Hollywood Film ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Faces Gender Pay Gap Discrepancy

Adele Lim, the co-writer for the screenplay Crazy Rich Asians has pulled out of the planned sequel due to a gender pay gap discrepancy. The award-winning film made waves becoming the first theatrical film featuring an all-Westernized Asian cast and creator since 1993. The story, according to IMDb, is about Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese NYU professor, traveling with her boyfriend, Nick to his hometown of Singapore for his best friend's wedding. Rachel soon finds out that Nick's family is wealthy and he's considered the most eligible bachelor in Asia. Then, every single woman is incredibly jealous of Rachel and wants to bring her down.

Lim and Peter Chiarelli co-wrote the romantic comedy that grew into a box-office giant. According to The Numbers, the film made $238 million in the worldwide box office. Chiarelli, an experienced feature writer, was to be paid a significantly higher amount than Lim who is a veteran writer. Lim tells The Hollywood Reporter, “being evaluated that way can't help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions." Lim compares women and people of color to “soy sauce”, often used to include culture-specific details but not to be credited for their full contribution.

Courtesy: The Washington Post

Lim has not disclosed a specific dollar amount but a representative for Lim has spoken and has indicated that Lim has parted ways with Warner Bros. The Hollywood Reporter says that offers for Chiarelli began at $800,000 to $1 million and started at $110,000 for Lim. Reps from Warner Bros. say that these offers are based on experience and any disturbance would cause issues within the industry. After five months of looking for another Asian writer, Warner Bros. returned to Lim last February with a deal that was closer to Chiarelli’s. Chiarelli even offered to split his deal with Lim but she declined.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lim says, "Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn't be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer. 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."

Courtesy: Twitter (@adeleBlim) 

Lim took to twitter in early September to thank everyone who voiced their opinion and for their continued support. Lim tweeted, “It’s been a week. My gratitude to the countless people who voiced their support. To people going through their own fight - you are not alone. Also, I have only love for @jonmchu and the cast & crew of #CRA. It was/is a movement and I’ll always root for its continued success [heart emoji]”.

The long-awaited sequel is moving slowly towards production but is still in the works. Scheduling isn't expected to impact plans for the sequel, which is projected to start shooting by the end of 2020.

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