“Respect to @edskrein for setting the example & reminding us progress requires sacrifice & representation is collective responsibility,” Ahmed tweeted on Monday night.
“Hey internet. Thank you for your voices. An injustice was done and will be corrected,” “Hellboy” actor David Harbour tweeted in response. “Many thanks to @edskrein for doing what is right.”
On Monday, Skrein exited the “Hellboy” reboot after online outcry that the white actor would play a character who was Asian in the comic books on which the film is based.
The “Deadpool” actor joined the cast of “Hellboy” only last week cast to play rugged military member Major Ben Daimio — which will now be recast. Upon hearing of Skrein’s casting last week, many fans took to social media to call it another example of Hollywood whitewashing.
“I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage,” the actor wrote on Instagram Monday. “It is clear 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.”
Hollywood has faced major backlash in terms of whitewashing: Scarlett Johansson was plagued with months worth of criticism for taking the starring role in “The Ghost in the Shell,” the remake of the classic anime franchise, which some saw as another example of an Asian character being whitewashed to appeal to a larger audience.
Tilda Swinton faced a similar issue when she was cast as The Ancient One in “Doctor Strange.” When the film’s trailer hit the web, fans said casting Swinton was racist because the character was depicted in the comics as being Tibetan — and Swinton is a white British woman.
See reactions to Skrein’s exit below.
— Riz Ahmed (@rizwanahmed) August 29, 2017
Now following @EdSkrein.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 29, 2017
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 28, 2017
— Tom T. Choi (@tomtchoi) August 29, 2017
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) August 29, 2017
I wanna work with @edskrein.
— John Cho (@JohnTheCho) August 29, 2017
Hey internet. Thank you for your voices.
An injustice was done and will be corrected.
— David Harbour (@DavidKHarbour) August 28, 2017
Good on you, @edskrein
— Harry Shum Jr (@HarryShumJr) August 29, 2017
— Lᴇᴏɴᴀʀᴅ Cʜᴀɴɢ (@leonardchang) August 28, 2017
@edskrein Huge props to you for taking personal responsibility to propagate inclusivity- it's brave and hopefully inspiring to others!
— Linda Park (@realLindaPark) August 29, 2017