29 Aug – Representation matters, and English actor Ed Skrein is definitely on board with the idea.
Released through his Twitter account earlier today, the lead of the 2015 "The Transporter Refueled" announces his exit from Lionsgate's reboot of "Hellboy".
"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.
"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," the actor shares in his statement.
Following the studios' announcement of casting Ed Skrein as Major Ben Daimio, fans across social media quickly objected to the casting claiming it as another example of Hollywood whitewashing an Asian character.
Despite being sad having to leave "Hellboy", Skrein hopes that his decision will bring focus on having equal representation in the Arts scene.
Lionsgate has also released their statement through Deadline which reads:
"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."
Set to star "Stranger Things'" David Harbour as the titular hero, the upcoming reboot titled "Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen" is slated to begin production this September.
Featuring Ian McShane ("American Gods") as Professor Broom, Milla Jovovich ("Resident Evil" franchise) as the Blood Queen and Sasha Lane ("American Honey") as Alice Monaghan, fans will just have to wait as to how this film, which is to be helmed by "Game of Thrones'" Neil Marshall, will turn out.
(Photo source: Tim P Whitby | Getty Images)