Just a week after joining the upcoming Hellboy reboot, actor Ed Skrein has exited the movie over the whitewashing controversy that followed his casting.
Skrein was cast as Benjamin Daimio, a character of mixed Asian heritage. Subsequently, comic book fans were quick to call this casting out as yet another instance of whitewashing in Hollywood. The actor revealed his decision to leave via an image posted by his official Twitter account.
"I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage," Skrein explained in his statement. "There has been intense conversation and understandable upset since that announcement, and I must do what I feel is right."
"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," the actor continued. "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". You can read the full statement below.
Whitewashing has been an issue in Hollywood for a long time but has become even more relevant in recent years after movies like Ghost in the Shell and Marvel's Doctor Strange cast white actors in roles that were Asian in source material.
Debuting in theaters in 2018, Hellboy will be directed by Neil Marshall and star David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen and Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan.