'I must do what I feel is right:' Ed Skrein pulls out of Hellboy film after whitewashing backlash
'It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity'
British actor Ed Skrein has withdrawn from the upcoming Hellboy reboot a week after his casting sparked outcries of whitewashing.
In a lengthy post on his social media channels on Monday, Skrein says he accepted the role unaware of its mixed Asian heritage. He says the uproar that resulted was "understandable" and that he was stepping down "so the role can be cast appropriately."
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.
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Skrein says he didn't wish to be a part of the "worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the arts."
The actor, who appeared in 2016's Deadpool, earned praise for his decision across social media, including from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.
thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/edskrein">@edskrein</a> very nicely done... <a href="https://t.co/hwCsaf9iZj">https://t.co/hwCsaf9iZj</a>—@artofmmignola
Gonna remember this actor when writing and casting... <a href="https://twitter.com/edskrein">@edskrein</a> <a href="https://t.co/WDzDHUvKkK">https://t.co/WDzDHUvKkK</a>—@leonardchang
This was a great statement, and you've helped set an example for this industry. Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/edskrein">@edskrein</a>!—@CAPEUSA
I wanna work with <a href="https://twitter.com/edskrein">@edskrein</a>.—@JohnTheCho