Following Ed Skrein’s (Deadpool) exit from Hellboy after his casting as Major Ben Daimio was under fire for whitewashing – a character of Japanese decent in the comics –it has been announced that he will be replaced by South Korean actor Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0) pending a final agreement.
Skrein made the decision to step away from the movie releasing the following statement:
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.
This isn’t the first time that a big movie has been questioned over its casting of white people, but this is one of the first cases of an actor taking matters into their own hands. Lionsgate were listening, however, and instead of simply replacing him with another white actor, they are learning from their mistakes” “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.”
If the poor performance of Ghost In The Shell is anything to go by, whitewashing doesn’t make for a successful movie. Kim himself has also spoken out over the issue, saying in a post on Facebook that, “the path to equality is rarely easy.”
Hopefully this can mark the beginning to many more corrections in many studios’ lapses in judgement.
Hellboy: Rise Of The Blood Queen doesn’t yet have a release date. Get all the latest sci-fi news with every issue of SciFiNow.