'Crazy Rich Asians' Co-Writer Adele Lim Walks Away From The Sequels Over Pay Disparity

She found out she would be making WAY less than her white male co-writer.
PHOTO: Getty Images

It's safe to say that when the Crazy Rich Asians movie premiered in 2018, it was a pretty big deal. It was an instant hit, making $238 million worldwide. In fact, we're willing to bet that you played the movie's OST on loop for weeks after watching the movie; remember Katherine Ho's cover of "Yellow"

So when the sequel was confirmed, everyone was thrilled. 

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The Hollywood Reporter announced that it was bringing back the creative team behind the first movie, with Jon M. Chu ready to take the director's chair again. They also planned on reuniting with the original producers (Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force and John Penotti of Ivanhoe) and screenwriters (Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim) for the sequels. 

Unfortunately, Adele Lim won't be coming back due to a wage gap. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision to pay her less than her co-writer, Peter Chiarelli, was based on the fact that he has more experience. 

Adele expressed, "Being evaluated that way can't help but make [me] feel that [that] is how they view my contributions."

In February 2019, she was offered higher pay, but still not the same amount as her co-writer (who offered to split his fee with her), so she passed on the project: "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."

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Though Adele didn't disclose numbers, sources say that Warner Bros. offered Peter Chiarelli anywhere between $800,000 to $1 million; she, on the other hand, was offered around $110,000. 

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