Ed Skrein has stepped down from a role in the upcoming Hellboy reboot following whitewashing backlash.
The Deadpool and Game of Thrones actor was set to play Major Ben Daimio, who is of Japanese-American heritage in the original comics. Skrein admitted that the best solution was to step down so, “the role [could] be cast appropriately.”
“It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the Arts,” he said on Twitter. “I feel it is important to honour and respect that.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter many of the film’s producers, Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Millennium and Lionsgate supported Skrein’s decision.
“We fully support his unselfish decision,” they said. “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.”
The Hellboy reboot will be directed by Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones), and star David Harbour (Stranger Things, Suicide Squad) as Hellboy, with a medieval sorceress set on destroying humanity played by Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil, The Fifth Element), and Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean, American Gods) as Hellboy’s adoptive father.
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