Published Aug 28, 2017Following roles in Deadpool and Game of Thrones, Ed Skrein was sure to win over even more geeky fans after booking a job on the forthcoming Hellboy reboot. Thanks to a whitewashing controversy, however, Skrein has decided to pass on the project.
Skrein was set to play Major Ben Daimio in the film, prompting a massive controversy due to the character's ethnic background.
Rather than dispute the claims, Skrein has stepped down from the project all together. "I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage," Skrein wrote in a statement, embedded below. "There has been intense conversation and understandable upset since that announcement and I must do what I feel is right."
Since Skrein stepped down, producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin made a joint statement with Lionsgate and Millennium [via the Guardian]:
Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision. 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.
Here's hoping this controversy encourages more Hollywood casting directors to think twice before whitewashing characters in future projects.