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Ed Skrein exited the “Hellboy” reboot in August following whitewashing backlash, and now Variety reports that Lionsgate is in talks with Daniel Dae Kim to replace him.
Shortly after it was announced that Skrein was cast to play Major Ben Daimio, a character of Japanese-American descent in the comics, outrage bubbled up on social media. The film was accused of whitewashing the character by hiring Skrein – a white actor.
Skrein chose to leave the film amidst the controversy, and penned a heartfelt letter to announce his departure.
Skrein wrote, “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. I feel it is important to honour and respect that.”
You can read Skrein’s full letter here:
“Hellboy’s” whitewashing controversy marks just one of several incidents this year where a white actor has been cast as a character originally portrayed by someone of Asian descent. “Ghost in the Shell,” “The Great Wall,” and “Doctor Strange,” are just a couple recent examples of “whitewashing” in Hollywood.
Lionsgate, it appears, is working to distance itself from this by looking at Kim, a Korean-American actor, to play Daimio.
Kim recently left “Hawaii Five-O” in July due to a pay dispute with CBS, along with his costar Grace Park. Kim and Park sought equal pay with their white costars, but the studio was unwilling to alter their salaries enough, and gave them a final offer 10-15% less than their costars, according to Variety.
But, it looks like this could actually have ended up scoring Kim the role of Daimio, only a few months after leaving “Hawaii Five-O.”