Culture

Virtue Signaling CBS Under Attack for Lack of Prime-Time Diversity

I was stoked when I found out CBS was rebooting Hawaii Five-O. Watching it, I loved how they highlighted Hawaiian culture and having Grace Park was a major bonus. I’d been a fan since her turn as Boomer on Battlestar Galactica.

Due to a quirk of when it aired, I didn’t get to watch the show a lot of the time, but thanks to the magic of Netflix, I could catch up.

That worked great up until the moment that Scott Caan’s Danno went on an anti-gun tirade in one episode — the same episode where they tried to portray gun owners as wannabe Rambos when it had little to do with the story.

Couple that with a few other annoyances about the show, and it turned me off. Liberal virtue signaling is rarely attractive.

Not only that, but it apparently doesn’t help when you do something else that runs against progressive orthodoxy such as having too many white folks on your prime-time lineup. Salon writes:

Even if you’re not a regular “Hawaii Five-0” viewer, last week’s reported departures of series regulars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park might have come as a shock. Kim and Park were part the CBS thriller’s core cast, and they’ve been with the show since its first season, occupying third and fourth billing behind Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, who play updated versions of Steve McGarrett and Daniel “Danno” Williams.

Kim and Park also portrayed characters that originated in the 1968 series, Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua respectively. But according to a Variety report, when lengthy negotiations with CBS Television Studios did not result in salary parity with O’Loughlin and Caan, Kim and Park decided it was time to leave the island.

“As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude,” Kim wrote a heartfelt letter confirming the news, which posted on his Facebook fan page early Wednesday morning. “I am so deeply thankful to our crew, writers and everyone associated with the show – and especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process.”

Near the end of the note, Kim tacitly acknowledged that he did not arrive at his decision without some dispute. “I’ll end by saying that though transitions can be difficult, I encourage us all to look beyond the disappointment of this moment to the bigger picture,” he said. “The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future.”

[…]

Potentially of greater significance, however, is what the departure of two well-known Asian actors signals about CBS itself, especially considering that this story broke nearly 11 months after an L.A. Times report criticized CBS for having what was, at that time, the whitest fall schedule on broadcast.

Now, let me be clear. I have no issue with Kim and Park wanting more money. They were core members of the cast and should have been paid accordingly. It has nothing to do with their race and everything to do with their work on the show and their importance to the stories. Plain and simple.

What’s amusing here is that despite virtue signaling on guns, CBS can still find itself in hot water because they fell short in another area. That’s the thing about progressivism. Your virtue signaling today won’t bail you out tomorrow. If you fail at any point, they will turn on you like a school of starving piranhas on an injured cow trying to cross the Amazon.

Even if I agreed that Kim and Park shouldn’t have been paid more, I’d still be laughing at the whole thing. After all, virtue signaling never does what the signalers hope it will.