Bleeding Cool reported last week on the response to actor Ed Skrein's casting as Major Ben Daimio in in Neil Marshall's R-Rated Hellboy reboot. Casting Skrein, a British actor of Jewish Austrian and English descent, in the role of a Japanese-American character, prompted complaints of whitewashing, as we've seen with several high-profile projects in recent memory.
However, Skrein took an unusual approach to dealing with the criticism: he agreed with it and resigned from the film, using the opportunity to take a stance on inclusion and representation that's sure to bring even more attention to the issue. Skrein posted to Twitter:
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
We're not sure if this is the first time this has happened, but it's surely the most prominent public example we can think of. Mike Mignola, who had previously expressed excitement at having Skrein join the film, applauded the actor for his decision:
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) August 28, 2017
Hellboy will need to go back to the casting board for a new Ben Daimio. Will they choose to stay authentic to the character's race this time? Looks like it. In a statement to Variety, Lionsgate said:
"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."
We'll let you know as soon as we learn more.