British actor Ed Skrein is getting a lot of love from fans of diversity and representation right now after he #tooktotwitter to announce that he was exiting the upcoming Hellboy reboot. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ed joined the Helloboy reboot last week and was set to play the role of Major Ben Daimio, who in the comic books is Japanese-American. As you can probably guess, some people weren’t too happy to see a Japanese-American character played by a guy who looks like Ed.
Well, Ed heard everyone’s complaints, and Ed is out.
Some on social media objected to the casting, calling it another example of Hollywood whitewashing a character. And after a mounting outcry, Skrein has decided to leave the project, sharing the news Monday on Twitter.
Good for Ed for deciding not to go full Aloha (one should never go full Aloha) by following in the footsteps of other actors such as Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Emma Stone and Zach McGowan who have all taken heat for nabbing roles that could or should have gone to Asian actors. Ed released a statement yesterday regarding his decision to back out.
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
I am really happy that he did this and all, but something in the milk ain’t quite right. Like with Tilda, are we supposed to believe that he got offered and accepted a role without first reading or understanding the source material?! I guess, if you say so. Funny how the internet has to cause a ruckus before people decide to do the right thing. Still, it’s a win for inclusivity and everybody seems to be pretty happy about Ed’s decision (except maybe his agent and accountant).
His ex-future co-star David Harbour (sexy bear sheriff on Stranger Things, who is playing Hellboy) had this to say:
Hey internet. Thank you for your voices.
An injustice was done and will be corrected.
— David Harbour (@DavidKHarbour) August 28, 2017
Even the producers, who are the ones who stepped in it in the first place by casting a British pretty boy as a grizzled Asian-American Marine, said they’d try harder next time.
Producers Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Millennium and Lionsgate also released a statement Monday in support of Skrein’s decision: “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.”
So, while he won’t be appearing in the new Hellboy movie, Ed does get to bathe in the healing pools of “woke bae” bay, which I doubt will hurt his career in the slightest. It’s progress, but I’m still giving Hollywood plenty of side eye until they start to make casting decisions that make sense before the internet has to yell at them about it.