Malaysia-Born Writer Quits CRA Sequel As She Was Offered RM3 Million Less Than Co-Writer

Warner Bros only offered Adele Lim 1/10th of her co-writer's salary.

Malaysia-born screenwriter Adele Lim has reportedly quit the production of future 'Crazy Rich Asians' sequels after learning that her co-writer was getting paid up to ten times more than her

Adele Lim speaking at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International

Image via Gage Skidmore

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. only offered Lim around USD110,000 (RM460,966) in comparison to her co-writer Peter Chiarelli who was offered USD800,000 (RM3.3 million) to USD1 million (RM4 million).

Lim's representatives were told by the producers that the salaries were gauged based on experience.

Peter Chiarelli wrote 'The Proposal' and contributed story ideas to 'Now You See Me 2'. 'Crazy Rich Asians' is Lim's first feature screenplay, having written a handful of TV series episodes before landing the gig.

Adele Lim made her big-screen debut in Crazy Rich Asians.

Image via LA Live/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Lim expressed that Hollywood often minimises the views and contributions of women and writers who are people of colour (POC)

Lim likens being a woman and a person of colour in Hollywood to 'soy sauce' - hired to sprinkle culturally specific details on a screenplay, rather than credited with the substantive work of crafting the story.

“Being evaluated that way can’t help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions,”
Adele Lim

After spending months trying to find another Asian writer fit for the job, the production house came back to Lim with a new offer.

However, Lim stood her ground.

Color Force spent about five months scouting for other writers of Asian descent to fill the position after the deal fell through. 

They returned to Lim with a new offer closer to Chiarelli's salary, but she put her foot down and passed on the offer.

Besides that, Chiarelli had also volunteered to split his fee with her.

Lim says, "Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn't be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer."

Adele Lim, with director Jon M. Chu, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Ronny Chieng and co-writer Peter Chiarelli at the premiere of Crazy Rich Asians.

Image via Georgia Asian Times/Warner Bros. Entertaintment. Inc

"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," she added.

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