“Crazy Rich Asians” Writer Takes A Stand


>>Let’s talking about the sequel to one of
the most awesome movies that’s come out recently. A co-writer on the Crazy Rich Asians sequel
has decided to leave the writing team. And here’s what we know. Adele Lim was offered $110,000 plus for her
work, while starting offers for her co-writer were $800,000 to $1,000,000. This is according to The Hollywood Reporter
sources. So Lim says being evaluated that way can’t
help but make you feel that this is how they view my contributions. She believes women and people of color 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. Warner Brothers then, I guess at this point
when she left, explained to Lim’s reps that the quotes given to both of them 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 the studio chairman,
who backed his business affairs department’s stance. So just before we go, and cuz I just have
to, it would set a bad precedent to pay the only Asian woman on the team more, on a movie,
specifically about Asian culture?>>They’re treating her like on Or a more
contemporary reference, like Grey’s Anatomy. That’s how they would pay the doctor.>>Really current, too.>>Yeah, yeah, yeah, Grey’s Anatomy is still
on the air, I think.>>It is.>>The doctor two shows up and it’s like,
yeah, we say the word cc’s and stat a lot, go ahead.>>Right.>>That’s it. The consultant when you do a crime drama,
they’re like, our priority is just putting in the relationships here. Can you show up and tell us what food you
people eat?>>You’re right, exactly. So Lim ended up, she left last fall. That’s what we also know. The producers then spent five months trying
to get another writer of Asian descent onto the team. They couldn’t. So then they go back to Lim with an offer
that’s more comparable to her co-writer. Her co-writer, also I think we should note,
his name is Peter Chiarelli. I hope I’m pronouncing that right. He actually offered to split his fee with
her. She said no, explaining, 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 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. There’s no realistic way to achieve true equity
that way. That reminds me of, it’s a writer’s thread
that was going on a few months ago, around the strike. And it was trying to uplift, like hey, I see
this a lot. They’ll say hey, we’re looking for a Latino
writer. We specifically want to go after people of
color writers, writers that are marginalized, writers that don’t get opportunities. You must have five so and so, I don’t know
the right lingo.>>Right, yes, you must-
>>But you must have five to submit->>Yeah, yeah, that’s the problem, right,
yeah.>>And an agent, and it’s like, wait.>>That’s the way the-
>>They can’t, that’s the whole reason that you need to, what?>>Right, so we’re looking to make Latino
writers successful. So if you’re a successful Latino writer, please
apply for the job.>>Yeah, if you’ve written a Marvel movie,
cuz that’s the kind of writer we want, someone’s who’s-
>>Right.>>But that’s huge.>>I’d be curious to know what the WGA, the
writer’s guild, the writer’s union, did they have to say anything about this? Cuz I mean, this seems like something that
they should weigh in on.>>I agree.>>Because I mean, you don’t wanna have the
writers pitted against each other here.>>I worked at a talent agency, and there’s
all kinds of fun things. It was about 2004, 2005.>>That’s why, the Entourage reference, that’s
why you got into the business.>>Right when Was in its peak.>>But really, at that time, I remember one
of my first assignments was to go through the tracking sheet, which looks after everything
that’s happening at the studios, and circle every urban movie.>>Fun.>>I love this story, yeah.>>And I was like, that’s in a city. That’s in Oklahoma City, that’s a city, that’s
urban.>>And here it is in Little Rock, that’s a
city.>>And you didn’t think that they meant black?>>And they were like, no, I see what you
thought.>>But it’s black.>>Yeah.>>But also when they do negotiations, a lot
of the negotiation it’s your quote. Your quote is what it’s all based on. And a lot of studios really like operating
on things where they’re like, no, it’s already set and done. But they don’t understand that those things
are set in place. And that’s just how it will always be, unless
you change it.>>Just think about that. Do you know if there were other assistants
who were working alongside you who were black? One of them would have been like, no, bro,
they mean something else.>>Yeah.>>Or even better, if there were more executives
that were black, that name and title wouldn’t have existed to begin with.

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