A ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ writer has left the sequel and says it was because her white male cowriter was offered far more money

source
Warner Bros.

  • “Crazy Rich Asians” cowriter Adele Lim told The Hollywood Reporter that she exited the sequel last year because Warner Bros. offered her white male cowriter, Peter Chiarelli, far higher pay.
  • THR reported that anonymous sources said Lim was offered “$110,000-plus” while Chiarelli was offered “$800,000 to $1 million” for the sequel.
  • According to the THR report, Warner Bros. told Lim’s reps that the reason for the pay disparity was that the figures were industry standard based on experience.
  • Warner Bros. came back to Lim in February with an offer closer to Chiarelli’s, but she declined, Lim told THR.
  • “If I couldn’t get pay equity after [‘Crazy Rich Asians’], 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],” Lim told THR.
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The sequel to last year’s hit romantic comedy, “Crazy Rich Asians,” lost a cowriter because of a dispute over equal pay.

Adele Lim, a writer on “Crazy Rich Asians” and its sequel, told The Hollywood Reporter that she exited the project last year because Warner Bros. offered her white male cowriter, Peter Chiarelli, far higher pay.

Lim did not provide specific figures, but THR reported that, according to anonymous sources, she was offered “$110,000-plus,” while Chiarelli was offered “$800,000 to $1 million.”

Warner Bros. declined to comment on the record to Business Insider and THR did not include any comment from Warner Bros. in the report.

According to the THR report, Warner Bros. told Lim’s reps that the reason for the pay disparity was that the figures were industry standard based on experience. While Lim has written for plenty of TV shows – including “One Tree Hill,” “Private Practice,” and “Lethal Weapon” – “Crazy Rich Asians” was her first feature film. Chiarelli had feature experience before “Crazy Rich Asians,” including “The Proposal” and “Now You See Me 2.”

Lim told THR that Warner Bros. came back to her in February, after searching for a new writer, with an offer closer to Chiarelli’s, who had offered to split his pay. But Lim declined, she said.

“If I couldn’t get pay equity after [‘Crazy Rich Asians’], 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],” Lim told THR. “There’s no realistic way to achieve true equity that way.”

The sequel, based on the book follow-up “China Rich Girlfriend,” is still moving forward. Director Jon M. Chu and Chiarelli submitted a treatment to Warner Bros. in July, according to THR.

“Crazy Rich Asians” was the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to feature an all-Asian main cast. It made $238 million worldwide and was produced for $30 million.