Ed Skrein steps down from Hellboy following whitewashing controversey

British actor Ed Skrein announced earlier today his departure from the Hellboy reboot after the whitewashing controversy regarding his casting.

Skrein, known for his role as the villain, Ajax, in last year’s Deadpool, was announced to play Major Ben Daimio, who is Japanese-American in the comics, last week. Many on social media were furious with the casting announcement. Skrein, who comes from a mixed heritage, understood the importance of diversity and stepped down from the role with the following statement shared on Twitter.


There have been many conversations about whitewashing this past year with Doctor Strange, Ghost in the Shell, Aloha, and recently, Netflix’s Deathnote, and many others who have cast white actors in roles that were traditionally Asian characters in the source material. Skrein marks as the first actor to leave a major studio project in response to the public outcry. Social media has exploded with praise for the actor and his noble decision.

Lionsgate also released a statement supporting Skrein’s decision, “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.”

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola first announced the R-Rated project back in April with Mignola, Andrew Cosby, and Christopher Golden writing the script. The Hellboy reboot will star Stranger Things‘ David Harbour as the title character, Hellboy and will be directed by Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall. Milla Jovovich is set to play the villainous Blood Queen and Ian McShane playing Professor Broom, the adoptive father to Hellboy. Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman and Carl Hampe are exec producing.

Lionsgate has not announced a date for the Hellboy reboot.


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