Archives for the month of: July, 2017

The Fairy Princess is sad today because there is Broadway infighting over the status of the role of Pierre, in The GREAT COMET, which opened November 14, 2016. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, the show was nominated for 12 TONY Awards for the 2016 -2017 season. Of those twelve, they won two –  Mimi Lien for Best Scenic Design for a Musical and Bradley King for Best Lighting Design of a Musical,

If you have not heard of THE GREAT COMET – which wound up going against the juggernaut that is DEAR EVAN HANSEN, here is an official video that they put out of one of their songs, Charming, by the frankly, awe-inspiring Amber Grey :

According to all sources – Broadwayworld, The Hollywood Reporter, NY Times, Variety, etc – what happened was this – one of the supporting leads from the Original Broadway Cast of HAMILTONOkieriete Onaodowan, who played Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, was cast as Pierre in The Great Comet.


He was supposed to be there for nine weeks. (It was never forever).

In the meantime, during those nine, sorry, eight weeks, while his performance was meeting the demands of the fans –  ticket sales fell. They always fall during this time, unless they have a superstar in them because…people go on vacation. Not everyone vacations in New York City.

That they fell is not a surprise – the show had been pulling in a million in ticket sales per week because they had international vocal superstar, Josh Groban and his millions of fans from all over the world. This was Mr. Groban‘s first Broadway role, for which he received a TONY nomination.


Mr. Groban departed.

Mr. Onaodowan was cast. He was supposed to go into the show on July 3rd.

Singer/Songwriter Ingrid Michaelson went in on July 3rd. Brittain Ashford was announced to be taking a temporary leave to facilitate that. The Producers had 2 ‘names’ going in at the same time, to try and bump sales after Mr. Groban left.

Mr.Onaodowan went in July 11th.

Ms. Michaelson is scheduled to leave on August 15th.

At this point, ticket sales are in the August/September danger zone. Producers start to panic.


Mr. Onaodowan was asked to cut short his run by three weeks, with a possibility of returning to the role at a later date, due the schedule of TONY Winner, Mandy Patinkin, who agreed to come in during the time he was on vacation from his television show.

Mandy Patinkin had a limited window he could perform, and still do his television show – those were the ONLY three weeks he was available, and they were not up for debate because his vacation had already been set by the television studio.

If they wanted Mandy Patinkin, it was those three weeks or nothing.

Now, TFP has read some of the comments on social media with a lot of people, who are under the age of 30, saying “Who is Mandy Patinkin?”




Listen, here are the optics of being a grown ass person – if you do not know someone’s resume, do yourself a favor and look it up. Search Engines are your friend. No one has time to school your ignorance on who Mandy Patinkin is.


That being said, he is a TONY and EMMY winning actor who has hit television shows, been in movies like The Princess Bride and Yentl, and is an all round actors actor badass.  Went to Julliard. Just like Philippa Soo, who originated Natasha in this show at Ars Nova.

The other thing that gives him a connection to this material in THE GREAT COMET is, that he is by heritage, descended from Russian Jews.

The karma that a people who allowed pogroms to happen in Russia are now having a segment of one of the greatest novels of their country being told by a Russian Jewish descendant is frankly, one of the great cosmic revenges of the theater.

If you don’t know what a Pogrom was – two words – search engine.

Also, go see INDECENT before it closes, it is magical.


Now, the optics on this are bad – from the Producer’s end, it was bungled. This, by the way, is fully acknowledged by the Producers themselves, who released this statement::


This was not only in response to the social media backlash about Patinkin going in before Onaodowan, it was in response to an email that Onaodowan had sent the cast and the statement about his leaving that he made on Instagram.

Here is the text from Mr. Onaodowan‘s Instagram:

I always try to speak from my heart with love after listening. I have listened. I am more than grateful for all the love and support from the community and fans have shown me. It makes what we do and deal with as artists easier when you know many people do indeed have your back and that you are valued for their work. In spite of everything, I am grateful to have had the time to bring this character to life with a remarkable cast that truly makes the Imperial Theater a sacred space every night. My Pops would always tell me to be aware of the company you keep. I’m fully aware of the remarkable talents this cast holds, with Denee at the helm. My work is just a reflection of what they bring, have brought, and will continue to bring, be it me, Mandy, whomever is co-pilot to Denee. AUGUST 13th WILL BE MY LAST SHOW. I will not be returning. So make room in your schedule between now and Aug 13th. Come through, have a drink, and let’s celebrate the time we have because as always, that is all we are guaranteed. We make the most of the gifts we are given and I’m driven to deliver a defining moment in time, with every line I let loose on stage.

It is safe to say that people went a crazy once they did the math and realized that “Oak’ would be leaving before his announced time was up.

His time from July 11th.


All sorts of people weighed in – TONY Winners, regular civilians, Hamilfans – they all railed away – as many of us do, when a casting situation based on skin tone seems to be happening. They Tweeted, they “Insta’d”, they wrote comments and blasted people on Social media.

So much so, that Mr. Patinkin dropped out.


Those who were particularly loud on the social media did not do, however, the one thing that the show needed, which was to purchase a ticket to see the show starring Mr. Onaodowan.

The show currently has no star in the role of Pierre once August 13th comes about – and that puts an entire company in very real danger of closing. Not just the actors – the House Staff, the Dressers, the Wig Dept, the Costume Dept, the Teamsters, the Lighting Crew…the list goes on… – this is the one of the two most diverse shows on Broadway at the current time – and this is a big deal.


Social media backlash is a weapon, and yes, TFP has been known to deploy it. She does not apologize for having done so in the past, she does not apologize for possibly needing to do it in the future – it is what it is. For PoC, of which TFP is one, it is sometimes our only means to answer social issues.

However if you are going to charge racism, you have to look not just at this one act, but at the pattern of the Creative Team of GREAT COMET.

What have they done in the past?

The Cast is meant to represent a time in Russia during the novel of WAR AND PEACE by Tolstoy. It is a segment of the novel – which is huge – that tells the story of “Natasha” – the nickname for Countess Natalya Ilyinichna Rostova and how she was targeted and fell for Prince Anatole Vasilyevich Kuragin, who was already married when he began pursuing her. She was engaged to a Prince – that pretty much does not work out once she meets his family and they are cold to her. “Pierre” is a family friend, who is the Brother in Law of Prince Anatole, as well as being a scholar and a man dissatisfied with his wife and life.

Now, in 1869, when the novel was published, Russian nobility looked like this:


This is Grand Duchess Olga, when she was Princess of Wurtemberg.  Most of the Russian aristocrats looked similar. Varieties in hair color aside.

Originally, Natasha was played by TONY Nominee from HAMILTON, Philippa Soo, who left COMET to do HAMILTON.  After which they cast their own TONY Nominee, Denee Benton and understudying Ms. Benton, they cast Shoba Narayan. (Who TFP saw, and who was fabulous)

You can see that there was not just one attempt, but several successes to make the story of Russian aristocrats – who were (as written) selfish and extravagant and fairly white, though passionate people – come alive through more than just reasonable facsimiles. In short, Natasha was never cast as a white woman, though in truth, she would have been one.

The choice was deliberate. The choice was outstanding. The choice has given us three new leading ladies who are also People of Color – thus going head to head with the argument of ‘we cannot find any’, which is often used to negate progress of People of Color in lead roles.

Likewise the ensemble.

Josh Groban and Great Comet Ensemble

Out of a cast of 35, hired to tell the story of Imperial Russia -there are 15 People of Color – there are women in lead roles, there are people who are instrumentalists and dancers, some are both – this is, an inclusive cast – one of the best TFP has seen. As they whirl around creating chaotic and beautiful madness, you cannot help but be astounded by the variety of people portraying a variety of people.

It is glorious, and again, it is deliberate. Many people in the show are making their Broadway debuts. Again, this goes against the grain of Broadway, to have so many people getting their first break in such great number. However, again – it is a deliberate attempt to advance the narrative that Broadway does not have to look a certain kind of way for people to buy tickets or buy a story line.

Diversity means dollars.


The Producers invested in Rachel Chavkin’s vision. She and Dave Molloy had developed this show over 5 years. First at Ars Nova, then in a friggin TENT…anywhere and everywhere to give their Little Show That Could a voice and a space.


How many female directors of musicals are there who have directed Broadway shows? Get out your fingers, kids, you may need at least seven of them.

The budget for this show is high. Officially it is $12 million dollars, though when that was given out, Michael Reidel went through the investment papers in 2016 and he wrote that he thought by the time GREAT COMET opened it would be closer to $14 million.

So to the question, does The Fairy Princess think the Producers made a decision (which they bungled completely) intentionally out of racism?


She does not.

She does think that they felt desperate, and she thinks they were looking avidly for a ‘solution’ to the Aug/Sept Broadway slump, which, by the way, no one has ever been able to solve but Lin-Manuel Miranda, the second time.


Even current members of the Company do not think this was based on race – as evidenced by this impassioned statement from ensemble member, Azudi Onyejekwe.

That it did not occur to them that replacing a Person of Color with a Person of Religious Minority but Caucasian features would be considered awkward is both a slight indictment of their privilege and also, an indication, that that was not their first or even second thought.

Their first thought was “let’s keep our diverse cast open and representing”.

They f**ked up.

These Producers have, by the diversity of their cast, by investing in the talent of Rachel Chavkin and Dave Molloy- they have demonstrated that they have seen what they can do for Broadway’s future by committing to inclusiveness, and they have stuck to it.

They made mistakes and the optics look terrible.


Society is of course, absolutely racist and sexist.

No feelings are invalidated here, everyone should feel exactly as they are feeling.

All the feels. ALL OF THEM.


TFP does not believe in attacking a show and a cast that shows inclusion in such an extreme way because of mistakes from panicking producers, who – just as they did with Ms. Brittain Ashford (who is white), asked Mr. Onaodowan to step down temporarily for a ‘bigger name’. That they asked that of Ms. Ashford, and she complied (however she felt about it we do not know) made them think that asking was not a big deal.

It was a stupidly big deal.

Both times.

They got caught the second time.


So who to ask to come in that has a International reputation, has done the 8 show grind, and possibly an award nomination or two? In short – let’s get over the blame game and suggest some alternates.

What is done, is done.

There is no ‘winner’ here – Oak is out, Mandy is out – absolutely no winners here.


TFP is going to throw some names out there – some are in a show currently, but, so what? Some possibly out of the country?

So what?

Make the calls.

iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina Music Festival - Show


Beard. Has done Broadway – EVITA revival, LES MIS. International recording star with huge fanbase. Pop voice is flawless. Can play other instruments. Age appropriate.



Has beard. Sings his face off. An Actor of grativas and forbearance – his Coalhouse Walker is still something that can stop TFP in her tracks. Also – TONY WINNER!



Beard. Amazing voice. International appeal – he is Persian from Canada. Broadway debut he got a TONY NOMINATION for playing Jean ValJean in LES MISERABLES.



Currently doing SWEENEY TODD off Broadway, but Hugh Panaro was announced to replace him, so…he could leave early?

Beard. Vocal chops for days. Tons of Broadway credits including a TONY NOMINATION for PORGY & BESS.



Native New Zelander of Maori Descent (Oh didn’t know that did you? Mixed race Polynesians-  they get the job done too).

Been doing LES MISERABLES all over the world. Singing STARS.

Singing his face off. Saw it. Amazing.

And… has beard.


There are five.

Five suggestions.

From TFP – and if any of them wind up happening, she wants –



TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has a hot second to spare, but she just has to chime in on the latest statement from CBS regarding the non renewal of the contracts of Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kimthe ones in the middle.

The ones ‘selling us’ Hawaii, and the American scene that IS Hawaii.


Now, the above photo is CBS’s own marketing team – this was how, in the first season, they sold the show to audiences across the country.

Who is in the middle, a position usually reserved for the ‘stars’ of the show?

That’s right, Park and Kim.

The Asian/Americans.

(Ms. Park is a dual citizen of Canada and USA)


Let’s try this again – and again, TFP reminds you – this is marketing that CBS put out themselves, she is just pulling down the images from the interweb –

Who is featured prominently?

Park and Kim.


Which is why CBS’s statement about how they ‘tried’ to come to terms with their two Asian/American leads, but could not is, well – bullshit.


When two reliable series regulars insist on financial equality during the seventh season – you give it to them.

After seven seasons, they have clearly ‘proven’ themselves – as Actors of Color are constantly asked to do, to repeatedly ‘prove’ themselves.


Television is a medium where Actors of Color are constantly reminded that they should be ‘grateful’ to get the job. Where they are ‘local hires’, even if they were auditioned on another coast. Where they have to arrange their own housing or child care, simply because “they’ do not expect to be treated equally – because they never have been.

Where ‘we’ are all in that vending machine in Toy Story, waiting to be chosen.


Until we go home with Sid, the toy butcher.



(That is Asians, Hapas, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders combined)


According to Variety, this is what was sent out by CBS

“CBS offered “large and significant salary increases” to keep Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park in the cast of “Hawaii Five-0,” the network said Wednesday after Kim said via Facebook that he was unable to come to a deal with CBS to return to the long-running series.

“Daniel and Grace have been important and valued members of “Hawaii Five-0” for seven seasons,” CBS said in a statement. “We did not want to lose them and tried very hard to keep them with offers for large and significant salary increases. While we could not reach an agreement, we part ways with tremendous respect for their talents on screen, as well as their roles as ambassadors for the show off screen, and with hopes to work with them again in the near future.”

Now – keep in mind – whatever the significant increases – they were still LESS than Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin – who are making about $200K an episode. Plus more money on the back end – which is part of a production deal that was worked out when they came to the show in 2009/2010.

Now – this backend deal is ‘interesting’ because according to Variety “The backend stakes that O’Loughlin and Caan commanded reflect the leverage that the two actors brought to the show when it was assembled in the 2009-2010 development cycle.”

Hmmmm, the ‘leverage’?


TFP thought she would look up this alleged leverage to see if she can make sense of that – because she is confused.


Battlestar Galactica ran for four seasons, and according to – was rated 8.7 out of a 10 point rating for quality – meaning the cast, storyline and production values. Ms. Park was on that show all four seasons.


It was the winner of 3 EMMY awards for Production. It won BEST SERIES from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror films in 2007. That same year, 2007  it won awards from AFI, ALMA and was nominated and/or won from a host of other entertainment entities. Including the prestigious Peabody Awards, which it won, in 2006. In 2009, it won the Television Critics Award for Best Show.

LOST – ran for six years, from 2004 -2010, according to Mr. Kim was on the show all of those seasons.


LOST won 105 Awards in it’s time and had 375 Nominations.

Mr. Kim however, was not ‘just’ on LOST – he had been a featured actor on many popular television shows – and why would he not, he holds a Master of Fine Arts from New York University in Acting. Just a short perusal of his 72 credits on – including 24, ER, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayers and an OSCAR winning film called CRASH is enough to make anyone’s head spin. (By the way – when series run, it is counted as one credit, but then it lists the episodes, the number is much greater)

In any other profession – holding a Masters Degree is a guarantee of a higher salary – that there is no parity given in Entertainment is literally why this sh*tshow of an incident has occurred.


We are still talking leverage, right?

So coming in, Park and Kim were in a good position – award winning television shows that were long running and significant money makers with rabid fan bases. Easy to cast, for sure. Instant recognition, instant boost to a show that was a reboot coming into a television landscape where lots of reboots fail.

They would have been definite yes’s and the Network was lucky to have them. Moving on to the rest of the show…looking at Scott Caan – whose impact is more valued by CBS, so much so he makes 15% more than Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park AND…he gets a backend.

What’s he been up to?


Mr. Caan has 45 credits on His ‘biggest’ credits prior to the OCEANS ELEVEN franchise, where he has a smaller ensemble role – not more important than, say, Brad Pitt or George Clooney who are the leads. He is visible but not a lot of screen time. He has been in GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS, VARSITY BLUES, and he was on for two seasons recurring as Scott Lavin in the cable show, ENTOURAGE.

He also has a Dad who is, well, Hollywood Royalty.

James Caan, Scott Caan

James Caan is a friggin genius actor. He is such a good actor, his son got a backend deal.

TFP assumes that is because everyone knows that talent is definitely passed down, for sure, in show business by simply growing up next to it.


Alex O’Loughlin is, to TFP‘s surprise – Australian. Oi, Oi, Oi!


According to, he has 16 credits – but those include parts on television shows that ran for a season – Mary Bryant (Australian TV Mini Series), Three Rivers, Moonlight, and seven episodes of The Shield – that was all prior to Hawaii 5-o, where he has 168 episodes under his belt.

He also was the lead in a film called THE BACKUP PLAN opposite Jennifer Lopez.


No acting awards for Mr. O’Loughlin in the United States – he has 2 total nominations- 1 win-  in Australia – the Australian Film Institute for Best Lead Actor in Television, and a Logie Award for his work on the miniseries Mary Bryant – and in the United States he won a TV Guide award for Best Bromance with Scott Caan.


TFP is now confused – because she does not understand where exactly, this alleged ‘leverage’ came from in regards to casting Caan and O’Laughlin – on paper, does not make as much sense as Park and Kim.

Neither had been on long running shows, they had nowhere near the fan base that Park and Kim did. Yes, they had some large film credits under their belts – but does that really not hold parity with someone who has been in Oscar winning films in addition to Award winning television shows?

Does it?


In truth, neither of them had the depth of experience of Mr. Kim, though Mr. O’Loughlin has what would be a Bachelor’s Degree from NIDA in Australia while Mr. Caan attended Playhouse West – they have training – TFP is not saying that they do not – but Mr. Kim had more experience.

What she is saying is that while IMDB credits do not necessarily quantify talent – what they do is show that there is a history of someone being good to work with, showing up on time, maintaining a long running character – it shows that people can work with you in as much as it also shows what roles you have done. It shows you can handle the job.

To put it frankly – O’Laughlin and Caan did not deserve the initial salary disparity that happened in the first place – they had neither the experience nor the industry acknowledgement to claim ‘backend’ rights.

There was NO LEVERAGE!


The only thing they had over their fellow series regulars was the Undeniable Whiteness of Being.

They had ‘perceived leverage’ based on almost nothing in Hollywood terms.

This is not to say they are not talented, nor does this demonstrate that they do not perform well on their current show – obviously they do. What it does say, rather clearly is that

  1. CBS does not value their Actors of Color at the same professional rate as their Caucasian actors – and one need only to take a glance at their lineup to substantiate that fact.
  2. Women of Color are paid even LESS than Men of Color
  3. That however ‘substantial’ their raises were – Park and Kim’s offers did not include $200K per episode and part of the backend for a show that they lend authenticity to.
  4. Their Agents – Caan’s and O’Loughlin’s – fought the better fight.

While TFP does not want to throw Kim and Park’s representation under the bus in that initial negotiation seven seasons ago – she does wonder if their being Actors of Color made their Agents less willing to fight for that initial contract that set all this crap up in the first place. Perhaps their Agents did not know what the other two was being offered? Perhaps their Agents were given a offer and told ‘that is all we have’ – still….they should have persisted.


Hollywood suffers from systemic racism.

It is often the ‘quiet’ kind, where someone is politely told they ‘cannot’ get more money for a role because, well…you know.


It’s the kind where you cannot get an appointment because you do not look like what the writers are picturing.


It is the kind where you can be on the show from the very beginning, and they promote other people over you for no apparent reason that has anything to do with charisma, uniqueness, nerve or talent.


It is the kind where someone can write for you for seven seasons, say you are part of their “Ohana” (family), and then undercut you to the point that you have no choice but to leave, because your sense of self is powerful, and it will not allow you to stay.


It is that kind of systemic racism.


Where Actors of Minority statues are often ‘gaslit’ into thinking they are not enough and that they have to change so that the powers that be will ‘allow’ them to continue.


That is the ‘threat’ – that they will only “allow’ us a sliver of the pie because our success takes away from their ‘intrinsic order of belonging’ – in which, we do not belong.


It is the kind of racism that could be negated if your fellow cast members who are benefitting from their perceived superiority based on no real data, could stand with you and demand that all of you are treated equally- but they do not.

Maybe those Cast members think that they are better? That they ‘deserve’ more?

Hmmm…why would they think that? 

What is the culture there?

Because it comes from the top, down- for example- TFP knows for a fact that Bryan Fuller, Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon, Stacy Rukeyser, Josh Safran- just to name a few- would never write some BS statement like the below- because they fully adore and respect their casts.

So whence came this nugget, Mr. L?

We should all be just ‘glad to be there’?

Where the kind of racism exists whereby their EP uses words that mean ‘Family’ but then lowballs them? While comparing their roles to those of actors who- yes, also great- however they are ‘recurring’? The ones who make an impact in Guest Stars, yes- but who are not on the posters!!!!

It is THAT KIND OF RACISM- and it is insidious as hell.

SAG/AFTRA has a case against these producers and against this network – if they choose to exercise it. The Actors of Color meant to reflect Hawaii are gone. They have not announced replacements. That is a violation of clause 59.

It is about respect – both for the Actors in question, and the profession in general.


Again, there was no leverage that TFP can see that would place Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin ahead of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. None.


Calling out CBS on this – however this was set into motion – the optics are bad, very, very bad.

Let’s not pretend that there was leverage.


It is ‘too late’ to fix what should have been an automatic “yes” at the first ask – so while we wish them much success, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim are gone from Hawaii 5.0.

What happens now, CBS?


TFP will be watching.






The Fairy Princess got her computer back, after a month – yes a MONTH – in the shop!

She is pretty excited.


Let’s get to talking about some stuff – first of all – since charity begins at home, TFP would like to bring to your awareness the #Ham4All campaign started by Lin Manuel Miranda. It is for the charity Immigrants We Get the Job Done, and the money raised goes to various charities to support civil rights as well as practical support.


You can also win tickets to the LA premier of HAMILTON, which include airfare and hotel!

So how would you like to see HAMILTON for $10?

Because that is what it is – a $10 donation. (Click here to get to started)

TFP did the challenge,

(Apologies she cannot seem to size it correctly it looks enormous)

and she ‘tagged’ her friends,

Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend),

Telly Leung, (Broadway’s Aladdin):

As well as Jeff Yang (Journalist – CNN, Wall St. Journal, Jose Llana (National Tour – The King and I), and Raymond J. Lee (Broadway’s Groundhog Day).

The videos thus far are super cute and…they are going to lead to a whole lot more support and awareness  – and in case you cannot tell – all these folks are children or grandchildren of immigrants!

So check them out on TWITTER!

Thanks for playing, y’all – WERK!


Also, this is the opening weekend of BABY DRIVER, which has TFP’s fav pal, Lanny Joons Kim  – make sure you check it out!


Particularly because recent articles have reaffirmed TFP‘s long standing point – that diversity in casting makes the film have more appeal and thus more…


for everyone.

Speaking of which – seems like CBS’s Hawaii 5.0 is cleaning house – ethnically that is.


According to various articles, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim – series regulars who have been on the show since the pilot, and who have major character arcs and plot lines – have been paid 10-15% less than the two Caucasian leads – Scott Cann and Alex O’Loughlin – and well…

They out.

CBS would not get on board with equal pay, their cast members Cann and O’Loughlin did not ‘pull a Friends” thing with them – remember, they all held out until they all got the same money? So Park and Kim are no more.

They have gone on and will go on to bigger and better things, but that, as YOMYOMF points out – is not the point. They sold the show on their presence – which to a casual viewer meant that they were enjoying the same paycheck as Scott Caan. 

After all, DDK was coming off a very impressive run of LOST, and Park off of BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA – two of the most famous televisions shows in history -which made them far more bankable than Scott Caan – who has somehow managed to parlay a famous Dad into a career, having really only done notable small parts in ensemble films.

No shade to Scott, but it is what it is. He’s better now than when he started – but did he deserve a bigger paycheck than Daniel Dae Kim or Grace Park?


Interestingly, Masi Oka also left earlier this year.


Now YOMYOMF has written an interesting take on what may have happened behind closed doors there, and since they have done such a great job, TFP is going to stay out of that portion. (But yes, it is totally suspicious that all the Asian/American actors have departed the show within a season)

However, since Masi is the one who, long ago, dragged TFP into the now defunct Asian Actors Sub Committee at SAG (where it became a huge sh*t show), she has a point to make, and it is a doozy.

(Remember please, all Masi’s fault TFP even knows this)


If Hawaii 5.0 and their Producers do not quickly replace these gaping holes in their show with Actors and Actresses of Asian/American or Pacific Islander or both (many people are combinations) – they are in violation of an important clause in the SAG/AFTRA Producers Agreement. Clause 59, page 147.

Back when TFP used to be on the SAG AAPI Committee – this was referred to as “Reflecting the American Scene”, and here is what it means.

When Producers agree to “reflect the American scene”, what is meant is – within the boundaries of the show – where it is set, which professions it reflects – that they will endeavor to look at the ethnic and gender breakdowns inherent in that profession/setting/city, and cast accordingly. Same with disability breakdowns within the profession.


Here is the actual language from the current SAG/AFTRA Television Contract:

(a) Policy
The parties hereto reaffirm their commitment to: a) a
policy of non-discrimination and fair employment in connection with the
engagement and treatment of performers on the basis of sex, race,color,
creed, national origin, age, marital status, disability or sexual orientation,
in accordance with applicable state and federal law; and b) to continue
the active promotion of diversity, as set forth herein, in all categories of
employment covered by this Agreement.
In accordance with the foregoing policy, the Union
reaffirms its policy of non-discrimination with respect to admission to
membership and rights of membership.
Producer shall cast performers in accordance with the
policy set forth in Section 59(a)(1) above in all types of roles, having
due regard for the requirements of, and suitability for, the role so that,
for example, the American scene shall be portrayed realistically.
Consistent with the foregoing, every effort shall be
made to include minorities, women, performers with disabilities (defined
as those covered under the employment provisions of the Americans
with Disabilities Act) and performers aged 40 or over who are protected
under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in the casting of each
motion picture, thereby creating fair and equal employment opportunity
and eliminating stereotyping in casting.

Now, the language has changed somewhat – very small changed to – “the American scene shall be portrayed realistically“. It has the same meaning. 

It should look like the America in which it is set. Not “Trump’s America”, not “Elitist Educated Coasts America’ – it needs to look like Hawaii. 

The American scene of Hawaii – a land in which the 44th President was born, and which is a state. 

Even if people don’t think so – and if they refuse to believe it their social studies teacher failed them.

In order for a show to be given the greenlight to use SAG/AFTRA Actors, Union Actors – they need to show that their show reflects the America in which the show is set. In this case – Hawaii.


Now this graph was done in 2013 – four years ago – by California State University. If you combine the Asian population, the mixed race population, and the Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander numbers – you get around….72.2 %.


That is a big chunk. HUGE chunk. Huge stinking chunk of people that reflect the American scene within Hawaii that are not Caucasian. It is not the Midwest. It is Hawaii.

SAG/AFTRA has a case, should they choose to ‘go for it’, and in this case, they should.

Because if we stand for nothing- what will we fall for?

That Producer’s Agreement was signed when half the series regulars – Park and Kim – were of Asian descent. Because they were of Asian descent, we saw their family members and their love interests, who also happened to be of Asian descent.


Which increased CBS’s very tentative grip on diversity – according to their very own Glenn Geller -as they are a show pretty much known for series starring white males. 

Two shows that they had that ‘refuted’ those charges, as it were – their two aces, were ELEMENTARY, which stars Lucy Liu, and Hawaii 5.0.

That makes H50’s producers in violation of their original agreement – and SAG/AFTRA should take that opportunity – as we venture into pre-strike territory – to push for replacing Park and Kim with people who are of mixed race, or Asian heritage, or Pacific Islander heritage – or all three.

Because that is the scene in Hawaii. (Truly, the only place where she has felt like everyone is not asking her for an explanation for her face every time she left the hotel).

Which no one who has even a passing glance at the numbers, can dispute.


TFP really hopes CBS does the ‘right’ thing by Hawaii, and by it’s viewers – who have proved loyal over the years to that show. If they do not…


Otherwise she hopes that SAG/AFTRA has a bit more to say on these issues – and she thinks they may because running for the LA Local President is Clyde Kusatsu – who she is backing.

Not only is Clyde from Hawaii – he has been a long standing member of SAG, now SAG/AFTRA – he has worked every contract there is, and he has over 293 credits on IMDB, as well as being a solid committee member, repeatedly, through the years.

If anyone knows the importance of representation in the great state of Hawaii, it is Clyde. He is also someone I would want to advocate for a diverse and inclusive filming industry.


TFP hopes that Clyde will get your backing, because she can see that Producers are getting more parsimonious. 

She does not doubt rich people’s ability to ignore the fact that Union members need benefits including health care and pension, because they want to line their own pockets.


After all, we are seeing that on a National level.

She has known Clyde for a long time – his dedication and his commitment – being a SAG/AFTRA member has fed his family – and thus while it is a professional commitment, it is also a personal one from someone who, like most of the rest of us – are in the trenches fighting for representation every damn day.


TFP out.