The much-awaited sequel to the box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians has been put on hold amid a pay dispute between the movie’s screenwriters.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Adele Lim, the Malaysian-born co-writer for Crazy Rich Asians, dropped out of the project after she found out that her male colleague, Peter Chiarelli, was offered a salary worth more than 8 times what she was originally offered.
She said she stood to make US$ 110,000 plus while Peter was offered US$ 800,000 to 1 million.
“Being evaluated that way can’t help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions,” Adele told the news outlet.
Warner Bros. reportedly explained to Adele’s representatives that “the quotes are industry-standard established ranges based on experience.” Although Adele is a veteran television writer who worked on a number of series including One Tree Hill, Private Practice, and Lethal Weapon, Peter made his big break with hit rom-com The Proposal (2009) starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
Warner Bros. also added that “making an exception would set a troubling precedent in the business.”
Peter, after learning about the pay disparity, allegedly volunteered to split his would-be earnings with Adele to achieve fairness. However, Adele declined the offer.
“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. “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.”
There is no expected release date for the Crazy Rich Asians sequels yet, but director Jon M. Chu has revealed that they might shoot back-to-back by the end of 2020.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Sound off in the comments section below!