Ed Skrein is probably best known for being the first Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones and the villain for Deadpool; Skrein had recently been cast in the Hellboy rebootas Major Ben Daimio, but as the character is supposed to be of Asian heritage, there was a lot of backlash for—you guessed it—whitewashing. The negative feedback has caused Skrein to exit the project, and producers will now be looking for someone more appropriate to fill in.
Skrein posted this message on his Twitter:
Hellboy producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin have also released a statement on Skrein's exit, saying:
"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."
In the comics, Ben Daimio was a member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and though he had no powers, his military experience had made him a valuable member of the BPRD. The character is drawn as Asian in the comics, so you can expect backlash when it comes to another white actor taking on a role meant for another race.
Major Ben Daimio in Hellboy
The producers were probably banking on the audience's familiarity with Skrein, but with his exit, there are still several actors of Asian heritage who can take on the role. You think Ken Watanabe would want this one?
The Hellboy reboot is set to come out sometime in 2018.