- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2017

Director Neil Marshall’s reboot of the “Hellboy” movies just lost actor Ed Skrein to a “whitewashing” controversy.

Moviegoers around the world embraced actor Ron Perlman in 2004 as a demon who was rescued from Nazis and raised to listen to his better angels. Moviegoers in 2017, however, did not want to accept Mr. Skrein as a military man with Asian ancestry. Outcry over his portrayal of “Major Ben Daimio” prompted the actor to exit the Millennium and Lionsgate production on Monday.

“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,” the actor said in a statement, THR reported. “I feel it is important to honor and respect that. Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately.”

The actor, who was set to star alongside Milla Jovovich and David Harbour, added that ethnic diversity is important to him since he has “a mixed heritage family.”

Producers Larry Gordon (Millennium) and Lloyd Levin (Lionsgate) released a joint statement shortly thereafter, THR reported.

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

“Hellboy” was originally a comic created by Mike Mignola.

Mr. Marshall’s resume includes directing work on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld.”

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