Ed Skrein has walked from the reboot of ‘Hellboy’, following criticism that the role he was taking up was being white-washed.
The British actor was set to take on the role of Ben Daimio in the movie, ‘Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen’, a character who is depicted as Japanese-American in Mike Mignola’s comic books.
But he’s now quit, adding that he didn’t know that the character in the comics was of Asian heritage when he took the part.
In a post on Twitter, ‘Deadpool’ star Skrein said: “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.”
Skrein has been praised by fans for the move.
I know this show business and whatnot but all my respect towards you sir; you have earned my respect and honor.
— Twiggystar (@Twiggystar) August 28, 2017
— Dario (@dario006) August 29, 2017
I don't ever want to hear that a White actor/actress can't step away from a Whitewashed role. Ed Skrein just showed y'all how.
— ReBecca Theodore (@FilmFatale_NYC) August 28, 2017
‘Star Wars’ star John Boyega even weighed in:
As did John Cho:
And ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay:
And ‘Iron Fist’s Lewis Tan:
— Lewis Tan (@TheLewisTan) August 28, 2017
And even Mike Mignola himself:
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) August 28, 2017
Lionsgate is behind the new reboot of the comic-book series, following Guillermo del Toro’s much-loved pair of movies which, sadly, both bombed at the box office in 2004 and 2008.
‘Stranger Things’ star David Harbour will be taking over the role of Hellboy from Ron Perlman, with support from Ian McShane as Professor Bruttenholm (originally played by John Hurt), and Mill Jovovich as antagonist the Blood Queen.
British director Neil Marshall, of ‘Dog Soldiers’, ‘The Descent’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ fame, is behind the camera.
It’s due out next year.