An actor has withdrawn from an upcoming movie after his casting prompted a backlash. The AP reports that Ed Skrein pulled out of the “Hellboy” reboot amid a furor over whitewashing.
“In a lengthy post on his social media channels Monday, Skrein said he accepted the role of Ben Daimio unaware of its Asian heritage,” the AP reports. “The character Skrein was to play, Ben Daimio, is Japanese-American in the ‘Hellboy’ comics the films are based on. Critics said Skrein’s casting was just the latest instance of an Asian or Asian-American role being handed to a white actor.”
Skrein wrote on social media: “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.”
The producers of “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen” supported what they called Skrein’s “unselfish decision,” saying in a statement that they would “look to recast the part with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material.”
The report adds: “The backlash followed previous controversies including the castings of Emma Stone as a half-Hawaiian, half-Chinese Air Force pilot in Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’ and Scarlett Johansson as the cyborg protagonist in the Japanese anime remake ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ Last week’s Netflix release the Japanese manga adaptation ‘Death Note’ also drew criticism for transferring a Japanese story to Seattle without any Asian actors.”