In a rare case of fan demands actually being met for a Hellboy follow-up, Ed Skrein has walked away from the upcoming Hellboy reboot due to whitewashing criticism.
It was last week that the Deadpool villain—also known as the less remembered, less prolific versions of The Transporter and Daario Naharis—joined Hellboy in the role of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense’s Ben Daimio. The character is a Marine Captain mysteriously revived from death but left with his gruesome injuries—most notably, a large gash across his cheek. Also of note in this situation, the character is of Asian ancestry, which factors into the larger story of his grandmother’s role an Imperial Japanese agent. Naturally, Hollywood went straight to Skrein with the part.
But to the actor’s credit, he was apparently unaware of this. Yesterday, in a sincere statement, he announced as much, saying that he’s left the role to “honour and respect” what the character’s heritage meant to people. It’s actually very nice:
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
Lionsgate and Millennium Pictures have, in turn, responded by not quite promising to amend the situation, releasing a joint statement that offered, “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.”
We can only wait and see whether their “look” reveals anyone who isn’t a white rapper-turned-actor from England.