Ed Skrein has decided to leave the Hellboy reboot after learning that his character had been whitewashed.


The actor was cast as Major Ben Daimio, a character who is of mixed Asian heritage in the comic books. Many were upset when Skrein, a white actor, was chosen for the part. While most complaints were directed at the director and casting director, some were also aimed at Skrein, condemning him for taking the role away from an Asian actor who would be more well-suited for the role.

Skrein has now backed out of the film after learning about the character’s background. He took to social media to tell his fans and opponents. “Last week it was announced that I would be playing Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming HELLBOY reboot. I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage. There has been intense conversation and understandable upset since that announcement, and I must do what I feel is right,” Skrein wrote. “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,” Skrein said.


“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,” he continued. “I am sad to leave Hellboy but if this decision brings us closer to that day, it is worth it. I hope it makes a difference.” He concluded with, “With love and hope, Ed Skrein.”


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Producers Larry GordonLloyd Levin, Lionsgate, and Millennium released a joint statement saying they “fully support” Skrein’s action. “Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision,” the statement said. “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.”

Lead actor David Harbour, who will play Hellboy, is also very supportive of Skrein. “Hey internet. Thank you for your voices. An injustice was done and will be corrected. Many thanks to @edskrein for doing what is right.???,” he tweeted out.

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