Following a harsh public outcry, ‘Game Of Thrones’ star Ed Skrein has pulled out of starring in the ‘Hellboy’ reboot. He was cast as Major Ben Daimio — an Asian character in the ‘Hellboy’ graphic novels — and fans were none too pleased.
Fans went into a tizzy after they learned Game Of Thrones star Ed Skrien, 34, was cast as Major Ben Daimio — an Asian character — in the Hellboy movie reboot. So much so, in fact, that they accused him and the movie of whitewashing a character they’ve come to know and love from the graphic novels. So what did Ed do? He decided to exit the movie and took to social media on Monday, Aug. 28, to explain his departure from the project.
“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,” the actor said in a lengthy statement, which you can see in full, below. “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.”
Sadly, this sort of representation in Hollywood — where white actors are being casted in non-white roles — has become a regular thing. Most recently, it was evident with Scarlett Johansson‘s Ghost in the Shell and Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange. Lionsgate, the studio behind the reboot, released their own statement, following Ed’s exit, and 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.” The studio is currently focusing on re-casting the role of the former U.S. Marine, but Ed’s departure won’t affect the start date of production, our sister site, Variety, notes.
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