The “Hellboy” reboot recently announced that Ed Skrein has been cast as former U.S. Marine Benjamin Daimio. The problem? This character is Japanese-American, with plot-twisting backstory that alludes to his Japanese heritage. The 34-year-old actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of the villain Francis “Ajax” Freeman in the box office hit “Deadpool”, may not understand the long and storied history of Whitewashing; nevertheless, he now joins other non-Asian actors who have taken the very few roles written for characters of Asian descent away from talented and deserving Asian actors.
Ben Daimio’s heritage is quite significant to his character development; his grandmother is the infamous Japanese war criminal known as Crimson Lotus. When their familial ties are revealed, his patriotism and loyalty is questioned, adding a lot of depth to not only his character but the story as a whole. According to Reappropriate, Ben Daimio’s Japanese descent has major implications to the “Hellboy” plot, which aids in the character’s significance in the movie.
Similar cases of whitewashing in films such as “Ghost In The Shell” has an effect on both adult and young fans alike. Numerous critics are upset over the rising cases of Whitewashing, especially since there are already well-known Asian actors in Hollywood who can better represent these characters more accurately.
After all, the rest of the “Hellboy” reboot cast consists of promising names such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor Ian McShane, “Resident Evil” star Milla Jovovich, and even “Game of Thrones” director Neil Marshall. With that said, it’s a shame that Skrein’s addition is teeming with Whitewashing controversy instead of the praises given the acting pedigree of his co-stars.
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