Ed Skrein was all set to play the character Ben Daimio in a new reboot of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. This casting move spurred an outcry from the Asian American community, however, as the character in the graphic novel is Japanese American. It’s only the latest example of the off-putting trend of whitewashing adaptations, such as Scarlett Johansson starring in Ghost In the Shell, and Nat Wolff in the just-released Death Note. Something incredible happened instead, though: Skrein dropped out of the role, of his own volition, after becoming aware of the controversy surrounding his casting. (His reasons why are stated beautifully in the tweet below.) The beauty of his public exit is that it almost forces the studio behind the film to cast a Japanese American in the role now. If low box office returns for projects like Ghost In the Shell won’t make those studios put an end to whitewashing, perhaps more direct action like Skrein’s will.
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
See Skrein’s original casting announcement below.
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 21, 2017