British actor Ed Skrein is exiting the new “Hellboy” reboot amid whitewashing allegations days after he was announced to play Major Ben Daimio, a character of Japanese descent.
“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 voice in the Arts. I feel it is important to honour and respect that. There I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately,” Skrein wrote. “Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family. It is our responsibility to make more 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.”
His casting follows a string of recent whitewashing controversies including Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi in “Ghost in the Shell”, Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in “Doctor Strange”, and Finn Jones in “Iron Fist” as Danny Bland…we mean Rand.
“Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision,” Lionsgate said in a statement, according to Variety. “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.”
“Hellboy” comic book creator, Mike Mignola, chimed in on Twitter.
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) August 28, 2017
The reboot, directed by Neil Marshall and stars David Harbour as the new title hero, will begin production in October.
Featured Image Via Instagram / edskrein