Ed Skrein released a statement earlier today explaining the reasoning behind his decision to leave the upcoming Hellboy reboot after finding out that his character was originally Asian. It was revealed last week that Skrein, who played Ajax in the 2016 film Deadpool, would join the cast of Hellboy to play the role of Major Ben Daimio. The news was immediately met with backlash over yet another example of Hollywood whitewashing movie and television characters.
"I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage," Skrein wrote. "There has been intense conversation and understandable upset since that announcement, and I must do what I feel is right."
"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," Skrein explains. "I feel it is important to honour and respect that. Therefore, I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately."
Mike Mignola, creator of the Hellboy comic book series, applauded Skrein's decision.
David Harbour, who will play Hellboy, also commended Skrein for "doing what is right."
Check out Skrein's entire statement below.