Ed Skrein was initially cast to play Major Ben Daimio in the Hellboy reboot. Less than a week after he joined the cast, the 34-year-old British actor left the project due to playing a “whitewashed” Asian character. Daimio is a half-Japanese character in the comics.
“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,” Skrein tweeted. “It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity.”
His decision to leave was heralded as brave by many in Hollywood. Daniel Dae Kim, who’s been tapped to replace him, also feels the same way. The 49-year-old former Hawaii 5-0 actor confirmed his participation in the highly-anticipated film via a statement.
“I applaud the producers and, in particular, Ed Skrein for championing the notion that Asian characters should be played by Asian or Asian American actors,” Kim said in his statement to THR. “He could not have addressed the issue more elegantly and I remain indebted to him for his strength of character.”
This isn’t the first time Kim has been part of a controversy related to race. He and his former 5-0 costar Grace Park reportedly left the CBS show due to making less than their white costars, even though they all appeared on the show since the series premiere.
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