WHAT THE HELL?
An actor standing on principle???? IN HOLLYWOOD?
Ed Skrein made news yesterday afternoon by dropping out of Lionsgate and Millennium’s Hellboy reboot. The up-and-coming actor, best known for Deadpool and The Transporter: Refueled, had been cast as Major Ben Daimio in Neil Marshall’s comic book adaptation. While Skrein does visually resemble the character, there was immediate outcry and accusations of whitewashing. Daimio is Asian-American, while Skrein is not. And, quite surprisingly, the actor chose to bow out of the project while implicitly daring the powers that be to do the right thing the second time around. This is something of a first, whereby outcry over whitewashing actually results in the actor in question walking away from the part.
DAMNED IF YOU DON’T
Here’s Ed’s statement on the whole shebang.
Last week it was announced that I would be playing Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming HELLBOY reboot. I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage. There has been intense conversation and understandable upset since that announcement, and I must do what I feel is right.
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 honour and respect that. Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately.
Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family. It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity. It is my hope that one day these discussions will become less necessary and that we can help make equal representation in the Arts a reality.
I am sad to leave Hellboy but if this decision brings us closer to that day, it is worth it. I hope it makes a difference.
With love and hope,
We Have One Thing To Say