The new “Hellboy” film was the latest studio production to cast a Caucasian actor in a role originally written with Asian heritage after “Deadpool” star Ed Skrein was announced last week to be taking on the part of Major Ben Daimio, who is Japanese-American in the comic book. Skrein has issued an official statement announcing he is stepping down from the role in the wake of the controversy.
The latest installment in the franchise, entitled “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen,” already got off to a rocky start when it was announced original director Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Perlman would not be back. “Game of Thrones” helmer Neil Marshall and “Stranger Things” breakout David Harbour are the director-actor duo in charge this time. The supporting cast includes Ian McShane as the superhero’s adoptive father and Milla Jovovich as the evil villainess.
The whitewashing controversy over Skrein’s casting was especially hard to take given how inclusive del Toro is in his films. It’s hard to imagine a Caucasian actor being cast as Major Ben Daimio with del Toro behind the camera. Daimio is a former U.S. Marine who returns from the dead and joins the The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
Skrein has issued an official statement on his casting. You can read it in full below:
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017