8/28/2017

Whitewashing Controversy Causes Ed Skrein To Exit 'Hellboy'


The uproar over white-washing in Hollywood has claimed another victim, and this time it's Ed Skrein, who a week ago joined the cast of Hellboy. The Deadpool actor was to have taken the role of Major Ben Daimio, a member of the BPRD who could turn into a jaguar because of a curse. He's also of Japanese-American descent, and the Internet got all feverish with rage over having white boy Skrein play him. So Skrein has announced he is dropping out of the role. Here is his statement:

Last week it was announced that I would be playing Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming HELLBOY reboot. I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage. There has been intense conversation and understandable upset since that announcement, and I must do what I feel is right.
“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. I feel it is important to honour and respect that. Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately.
“Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family. It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity. It is my hope that one day these discussions will become less necessary and that we can help make equal representation in the Arts a reality.
“I am sad to leave Hellboy but if this decision brings us closer to that day, it is worth it. I hope it makes a difference.”

He seems to have his heart in the right place, and hopefully he can find another role to take that one's place. We're talking about, potentially, a major franchise part he just gave up on, so it's not insignificant. I don't know if Mike Mignola has chimed in on this yet, but I'd love to know what the Hellboy creator thinks.