British actor Ed Skrein has done what many celebrities, have not. He’s taken a stand against a major issue plaguing many Hollywood films, the whitewashing of its characters. The actor has announced he’s withdrawing from the upcoming Hellboy reboot, with both a thoughtful and well-considered post made on Twitter this morning.
Skrein’s casting as Major Ben Daimio, a character depicted in the comics as Japanese-American (seen above), was just another example of what’s becoming a long list of Hollywood whitewashing controversies. Remember Emma Stone being cast as a half-Hawaiian half-Chinese air pilot in 1915’s Aloha? Even more recently, Scarlett Johansson’s casting in Ghost In The Shell and Tilda Swinton in Marvel’s Dr Strange.
Afer learning of the controversy surrounding the character he had been cast to play in Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, the ex-GOT actor announced that he was withdrawing from the role, declaring it was extremely important to “make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity.”
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
Producers of Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen followed Skrein’s announcement, stating they supported the actor’s “unselfish” decision and were now reconsidering casting an actor most consistent with the character.
“It was not our intent to be insensitive to issues of authenticity and ethnicity, and we will look to recast the part with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material,” said Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Lionsgate and Millennium Films in a joint statement.
Many have applauded and thanked Skrein for taking a stand against the recent string of Hollywood whitewashing its characters.
Nice work Ed Skrein, the world applauds you!
Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is scheduled for release in 2018.