Crazy Rich Asians' Jon M. Chu speaks up on pay issue

LOS ANGELES • Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu came to the help of Adele Lim when the screenwriter and Hollywood movie studio Warner bickered over her fee to work on a sequel.

Chu, who wanted to keep his creative team intact, posted on Monday that "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".

Malaysia-born Lim was upset that she was offered a reported US$110,000 (S$152,000), versus US$800,000 to US$1 million for Peter Chiarelli.

Both had worked on the first 2018 film that netted US$238.5 million worldwide.

Warner apparently offered Chiarelli more because he has a more substantive track record than Lim who, before Crazy Rich Asians, had written for TV shows.

"I agree with Adele that parity for women and people of colour is crucial to the continued enlightenment of our industry and we still have a long way to go," Chu wrote.

"What I discovered personally through this process is there are still things to debate among ourselves... which I am sure won't be simple answers but I know we must try to figure it out to keep the needle moving."

Chu said Lim's fans should not take their anger out on Chiarelli.

"What I do know is we, as a community, should not go after my friend Chiarelli in our movie. He wrote two drafts of the script months before I ever joined the project with Adele.

"He is a good man, a creative force and has been a pro in the business for many, many years, doing many uncredited rewrites."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2019, with the headline 'Crazy Rich Asians' Jon M. Chu speaks up on pay issue'. Print Edition | Subscribe