News that Deadpool star Ed Skrein had been cast as Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming Hellboy reboot was met with a lot of controversy after it was revealed that the character was meant to be of Asian descent. Surprisingly, Skrein, who was “unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage” has decided to step down.
Ed Skrein, who has had notable roles in Game of Thrones, The Transporter and Deadpool, released a full statement explaining his decision to depart from the Hellboy reboot via Twitter:
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
“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,” the actor pointed out in the tweet.
Hollywood has been under fire for whitewashing quite a bit over the last while. Both Scarlett Johansson’s casting in Ghost in the Shell and Tilda Swinton’s role as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange were met with criticism. And it seems like it was part of the downfall of Netflix’s Death Note too.
Could Ed Skrein be the first of many actors who say no to whitewashing? Either way, we applaud his decision to “make[s} a difference.”