The 'Deadpool' actor and onetime Daario Naharis has left the upcoming 'Hellboy' reboot after discovering that the role he was cast in was an Asian character in the 'Hellboy' graphic novels.
In a statement released across his social media accounts last night, Skrein explained why he dropped out of the role, stating that he was unaware of the character's mixed Asian heritage before he joined the project.
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
"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. Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately," he said.
"Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family. It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity. It is my hope that one day these discussions will become less necessary and that we can help make equal representation in the Arts a reality."
The whitewashing of roles has come under more scrutiny in recent years, with Scarlett Johansson's casting as a Japanese human-cyborg in the adaptation of 'Ghost in the Shell' and Tilda Swinton's role as the Ancient One in 'Doctor Strange' sparking major controversy that plagued both films during their press tours.
Lionsgate, the studio behind the Hellboy reboot, released a statement following Skrein's that read: "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."
Skrein's role as Major Ben Daimio will now be recast, and whoever gets the role will join 'Stranger Things' star David Harbour in the titular role of Hellboy alongside Milla Jovovich and Ian McShane.
The as yet untitled film is set for release in 2018.