Ed Skrein, who is best known for his roles in Deadpool and Game of Thrones, has stepped down from the upcoming reboot of Hellboy after discovering that the character that he was cast to play, Major Ben Daimio, has mixed Asian heritage. The casting decision originally had people accuse the production of 'whitewashing' the film, and Ed responded by confirming he had stepped down.
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Ed posted a statement on Twitter
Posting to Twitter, he wrote: "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. There I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately."
Ed quit the Hellboy reboot
He continued: "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."
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Fans were quick to praise the star, with one writing: "Major props to @edskrein for making the hard choice as a younger actor but the right one in stepping down from the Hellboy reboot. Class," while another added: "I don't ever want to hear that a white actor/actress can't step away from a Whitewashed role. Ed Skrein just showed y'all how."