Last week, Ed Skrein was excited to announce he would be playing the character of Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming Hellboy: Rise Of The Blood Queen. In the comics, the character is of Asian heritage, and the news prompted immediate backlash from the Asian Pacific American community. Today, Skrein took to Twitter responding to the public outcry, saying he is stepping down from the role and that, “I must do what I feel is right.”
In a statement to Deadline, Hellboy producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin, Lionsgate and Millennium said: “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.”
Read Skrein’s full statement:
Ending his tweet with “I hope it makes a difference,” Skrein made it clear he was listening to the APA community and is aware of the importance of inclusion and proper representation in the arts. His thoughtful response and decision to leave the project may be the start of more projects to follow suit when casting roles meant for people of color.