"Crazy Rich Asians" writer Adele Lim has left the project after being denied equal pay.
Although director Jon M. Chu had hoped to keep the creative team intact, co-writer Adele Lim is no longer involved with the project.
Co-writer Peter Chiarelli, as an experienced feature scribe who broke out with 2009's "The Proposal", was to be paid a significantly higher fee than Lim, a veteran TV writer who never had penned a feature until Chu hired her to work on the screenplay, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
"Being evaluated that way can't help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions," said Lim, who believes that women and people of colour are often regarded as "soy sauce" — hired to sprinkle culturally specific details on a screenplay, rather than credited with the substantive work of crafting the story.
She declined to provide specific figures, but sources say that Warner Bros.' starting offers were $800,000 to $1 million for Chiarelli and $110,000 plus for Lim.
The studio explained to Lim's representatives that the quotes are industry-standard established ranges based on experience and that making an exception would set a troubling precedent in the business. The talks escalated to studio chairman Toby Emmerich, who backed his business affairs department's stance.
After Lim walked away from a deal last fall, Color Force spent about five months fielding other writers of Asian descent for the job. They came back to Lim in February with an offer closer to parity with Chiarelli, who had volunteered to split his fee with her, but Lim denied.
"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 colour would never have been (hired for). There's no realistic way to achieve true equity that way."