Jon M. Chu backs Crazy Rich Asians writer in pay row

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 10 September 2019
Jon M. Chu

Jon M. Chu

'Crazy Rich Asians' director Jon M. Chu has taken to Twitter to release a statement on screenwriter Adele Lim's departure from the sequels in a row over pay with Warner Bros

'Crazy Rich Asians' director Jon M. Chu has given his backing to screenwriter Adele Lim who quit the franchise in a disagreement over pay.

Producers on the upcoming movies had hired the 2018 comedy's scribes, Adele Lim and Peter Charelli, to pen the two follow-ups to the box office hit but Adele walked away from the movies after she was offered a fee "significantly" lower than her collaborator by Warner Bros. and after departing the project she stated that "being evaluated that way can't help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions".

The Malaysian writer also admitted she felt women of colour are viewed as "soy sauce" and hired to work purely for cultural accuracy, rather than to have a substantial role in telling a story.

Chu has now taken to Twitter to post a lengthy statement to address the situation and told his followers that "you bet your ass I stand with Adele" adding that he "agrees with Adele that parity for women and people of colour is crucial to the continued enlightenment of our industry".

The 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' filmmaker also revealed that he worked with the "producers and studio executives" to ensure "we got to a place of parity between the two writers at a significant number" but she "declined the offer".

He wrote: "For those of you who are asking, you bet your ass I stand with Adele! I believed in her before we ever shot the movie and believe in her beyond.

"As many of you can imagine negotiations are tough and more often than not messy – no matter who you are in this industry. The studio always comes in with a low offer and the talent always comes in with a high one and then everyone enters the process knowing they'll be lots of back and forth to find where we meet. But because I am close with Adele when I discovered she was unhappy with the initial offer, the producers, myself and studio executives leapt into action to ensure we got to a place of parity between the two writers at a significant number.

"It was both educational and powerful to hear all facets of the debate. Unfortunately by the time we came up with several different ways to satisfy everyone's needs, a lot of time had passed and she declined the offer."

Although Chu is disappointed that they couldn't keep Lim on board he is "proud" of the way she conducted herself and insists they will work together again in the future.

He added: "I'm proud that she was able to stand up for her own measure of worth and walk away when she felt like she was being undervalued. I will work with Adele in the future and respect the hell out of her. She was my sister and co-conspirator all the way through the film."

According to reports, Lim was initially set to earn over $100,000 for her work on the sequels, whilst Chiarelli was set to earn between $800,000 and $1 million for his efforts.

Chiarelli is still writing the back-to-back sequels, which are based on Kevin Kwan's books 'China Rich Girlfriend' and 'Rich People Problems'.

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