‘Deadpool’ actor Ed Skrein exits ‘Hellboy’ due to whitewashing controversy

hellboy
Just a week after Ed Skrein joined the cast of Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, the Deadpool actor announced his departure from the reboot film, citing the “whitewashing” issues brought up by his casting.

Skrein was initially tapped to play Major Ben Daimio, a military leader in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense and a major character in the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. comic book series. In the comics, Daimio is the Japanese-American leader of a squad of Marines who later becomes the Field Team Commander for the BPRD.

In a post on Twitter, Skrein explained his reasons for exiting the project and indicated that he was unaware of Daimio’s original ethnicity when he accepted the role.

The issue of whitewashing — in which movie studios cast white actors to play non-white characters (fictional or otherwise) — has become a hot-button topic in recent years.

Most recently, Marvel Studios came under fire for casting Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, a character typically depicted as a Himalayan monk, in Doctor Strange. Other frequently cited examples of this trend include the casting of Johnny Depp as the Native-American character Tonto in 2013’s The Lone Ranger, the ensemble cast of white actors featured in 2016’s Gods of Egypt, and the decision for Scarlett Johansson play the lead role of Major Motoko Kusanagi in 2017’s live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.

In his statement on leaving the role, Skrein indicated that he hoped his departure would allow the role of Daimio to be “cast appropriately” and that to stay on the project would “continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the Arts.”

“I feel it is important to honour and respect that. Therefore I have decided to step down,” Skrein said.

Lionsgate, the studio behind Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, released its own statement in the wake of Skrein’s departure.

“Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this,” the statement says. “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.”

With production on Rise of the Blood Queen expected to begin soon, another actor will likely be cast as Daimio in the near future.

The cast of Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen includes Stranger Things actor David Harbour as the franchise’s titular, demonic hero, as well as Deadwood and American Gods actor Ian McShane as Hellboy’s adoptive father, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, and Resident Evil franchise star Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen. The film will be directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones) from a script penned by Andrew Cosby (Eureka), Christopher Golden, and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.

Movies & TV

'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' will seem muddled to mere muggles

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald brings magizoologist Newt Scamander back for more adventures, but the sequel to 2016's Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes a very deep dive into Potter-verse lore.
Movies & TV

Fresh footage and Willem Dafoe make the final 'Aquaman' trailer special

Jason Momoa will bring Aquaman back to the big screen for a solo feature in December 2018. Here's everything we know so far about the aquatic superhero's live-action adventure in the DC Extended Universe.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Movies & TV

More cast members join Jordan Peele’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ reboot

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the cast for the first season is filling out with some familiar faces.
Deals

You can now watch soccer games online with streaming service ESPN+

Launched back in April, ESPN+ is a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. For a mere $5 a month or $50 per year, you can have access to the best sports content available including multiple soccer leagues.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Business

‘Fantastic Beasts’ wins the weekend with underwhelming debut

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald won the weekend box office, but its big debut was a bit underwhelming, with the lowest opening weekend and worst reviews of any Harry Potter film so far.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: The Coen brothers ride again and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Nnarcos: Mexico, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in December 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for December 2018 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.