Actor Ed Skrein of Deadpool fame took Hollywood one step in the right direction after leaving a role that should be filled by an Asian actor. Last week, it was announced Skrein was cast in the Hellboy reboot as Major Ben Daimio, who is Asian in the comic books. After hearing what fans and fellow actors had to say, Skrein opted to give up the role, hopefully prompting the studio to select an actor of Asian descent in the process.
From M. Night Shyamalan's Avatar: The Last Airbender to Doctor Strange, Ghost in the Shell and Death Note, Asian characters and the actors who could play them all too often get the shaft in Tinseltown. Hollywood's reluctance to give up whitewashing is a problem people of color (POC) have been combating relentlessly. It's about time someone put their white privilege aside and took a stand against the issue directly.
While there is still much to do to reach equality, there is something to be said for small victories. In light of this particular win, several Asian actors took to social media to express their thoughts on Skrein's statement and how it further combats Hollywood's race issues and raises the bar for inclusion.
Comedian and actor Ken Jeong shared Skrein's message on Twitter, along with his respect for the actor's choice to exit the role:
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actress Ming-Na Wen shared some love for Skrein and offered her hopes that a more appropriate casting choice will be made:
Actor-vist Jake Choi is one of the most vocal proponents of ending whitewashing and casting POC. The Front Cover star wasted no time in letting those in the industry know that the new standard for casting is here, and that the time for excuses is over:
Daniel Dae Kim, who resigned from Hawaii Five-0 earlier this year after CBS refused to offer him the same salary increases as his white co-stars, offered a meaningful bow of respect for Skrein:
The Librarians' own John Harlan Kim — who plays Ezekiel Jones — posted a tweet that gave us all the feels while acknowledging the importance of this step against whitewashing and underrepresentation in Hollywood.
The fight to get Hollywood on the right side of history is far from over. It all too often feels like calls for proper representation and equality are lost on those who just want to turn a profit on whatever white face will sell the most tickets. It is a nice change of pace to see one of those white faces openly acknowledge his own racially inappropriate casting, and stand in solidarity with POC.
What do you think about Ed Skrein leaving Hellboy?