Ed Skrein Exits 'Hellboy' Reboot After Whitewashing Outcry
"Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family," the actor wrote in a statement one week after he joined the film.
“I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage.
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 voice in the Arts. I feel it is important to honour and respect that. There I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately.”
Ed Skrein is not an A-list actor. Yes, he has more money than most of us, but he’s not sitting on piles of Scarlett Johansson cash or Tilda Swinton money. I’ll admit that I do tend to be less upset when a lesser-known white actor takes a role that wasn’t originally written for a POC because I’m an artist and I know a lot of artists and I see that life where you don’t really know when you’ll get your next callback or your next check. I’m still angry, but way less mad than when someone with tens of millions of dollars steps into a role that has been whitewashed for “box office” reasons.
By that same notion, I’m a lot more impressed when a lesser known actor does what’s right. When you’re not a household name, stepping into a widely known slice of pop culture is a big boost to your career, so good for Skrein sending this boost on toward an Asian actor it rightfully belongs to.
This is how you do it, White Hollywood. When you know better, you’re supposed to do better.