Ed Skrein Is Exiting Hellboy After Casting Controversy

Posted 2017/08/28 0 0

Ed Skrein has exited the “Hellboy” reboot following public outcry.


Though we’re still a long way from seeing Neil Marshall’s R-rated Hellboy reboot in theaters, the film recently became the focus of a full-blown controversy when fans of the long-running comic book series have objected to the casting of former Game of Thrones and Deadpool star Skrein because Daimio, a badass from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, is an Asian character. Today, Skrein announced he’d be leaving the role. The Deadpool star, 34, said he did not know the race of Major Ben Daimio when he accepted the part in the comic book adaptation. He said he was stepping down "so the role can be cast appropriately".

The response to this decision seems to generally be positive, as Skrein has already received praise and support from several corners of the internet for stepping down. He apparently had no idea who Major Ben Daimio was when he signed on for the Hellboy reboot, and the quick backlash against his casting seems to have made him consider that he might not be the right choice for the character at this point.

Skrein’s response to the whitewashing controversy is almost unheard of in the entertainment industry, with caucasian actors and actresses taking on originally non-white roles in films and television all the time, while very rarely responding to the whitewashing backlash in this kind of way. Following Skrein’s statement this afternoon, Lionsgate released a follow-up statement about the actor’s departure from the project:

“Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision. 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.”

The creator of the “Hellboy” comic book, Mike Mignola, thanked Skrein on Twitter. “Very nicely done,” he added.

The studio will now focus on re-casting the role of the former U.S. Marine. The film begins shooting this October and sources say Skrein’s departure won’t affect the start date.