The Hellboy reboot is the latest film to face a whitewashing controversy, but this situation is different than ones in the past. The actor at the center of the backlash, Ed Skrein, has given up his role in the film after being cast less than a week ago. Skrein was set to play Major Ben Daimio, a Japanese-American character, but fans didn't respond positively to his hiring.
— Christopher Sean (@ChristopherSean) August 24, 2017
We need to stop relying on white men to represent us in their projects. We need to make our own projects. https://t.co/PPFVtgNpIm
— Julia Morizawa (@juliamorizawa) August 22, 2017
Due to the controversy, Skrein made the choice to drop out of the film Monday night, expressing his views on the issue on Twitter. "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 honor and respect that. Therefore, I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately," his statement read.
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
Skrein's decision was met with praise from not only fans but also the creator of Hellboy, Mike Mignola. "Thank you @edskrein very nicely done..." he tweeted.
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) August 28, 2017
— William Yu (@its_willyu) August 28, 2017
Props to Skrein for listening to fans' concerns and putting his own career on the line to prevent whitewashing. His respect and awareness of the issue are admirable.