Around this time last year, Crazy Rich Asians debuted to an eager audience of millions around the world, but if you're gearing yourself up for its much awaited sequel, you may have to wait a while. It's been reported that Adele Lim, the only Asian writer on the CRA writing team has dropped off from the film's next two scheduled sequels.
According to entertainment site The Hollywood Reporter, the Malaysian writer's exit came after finding out that she was offered only an eighth of the pay her co-writer would be receiving. Where Adele was to make $110,000, Peter Chiarelli, her white male colleague was reportedly offered $800,000 to $1 million.
Adele called out the massive pay disparity as a normalized Hollywood theme where women and people of color are simply regarded as "soy sauce" added to provide small cultural details to a script, as opposed to being treated as a substantial asset to a project.
In response to Adele's qualms, Warner Bros.' representatives promptly explained to her reps that the disparity is normal, and the individual offers are drawn from industry standards based on experience. They point out that Adele has only previously worked on TV shows, while Peter Chiarelli already has a reportoire of successful movies under his belt, including The Proposal (2009) and Now You See Me 2 (2016).
Adele isn't having it, though. "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," she tells THR.
Despite her exit, Adele continues to keep herself busy as she's working on Disney's Southeast Asian based fantasy film Raya and the Last Dragon, where fellow CRA co-worker Awkwafina is one of the film's voice actors.