Following the news that Ed Skrein had joined the cast of the “Hellboy” reboot, a week later he’s bowed out of the production following intense critisizm of his casting.
Skrein was set to play Major Ben Daimio, a rugged military member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense who, due to a supernatural encounter, can turn into a jaguar when angered or in pain. Fans of the comic will know Daimio as a character of Asian descent – something that Skrein isn’t.
Skrein made a statement via Twitter regarding the intense controversy that resulted from his casting, and diplomatically withdrawing from the role.
It’s not often an actor will listen to whingers on the internet, but in this day and age the topic of whitewashing in Hollywood is one that won’t go away, especially when there’s a huge array of actors to choose from. Lionsgate supported Skrein’s decision, releasing the following statement:
“Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision. 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.”
No doubt following the controversy the studio will look to cast someone who is more suited to the role in the eyes of the comic and the audience.