Tempers flared last week when it was announced actor Ed Skrein was cast in the role of Major Ben Daimio in the upcoming “Hellboy” reboot. Created as a Japanese-American in the original comic series, Daimio’s heritage plays an important role in the character’s backstory. Coming on the heels of Netflix’s Americanized “Death Note” movie, fans were outraged by yet another example of Hollywood whitewashing.

On Monday, Skrein addressed the “intense conversation and understandable upset,” announcing he is backing out of the role to do what is “right.”

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“I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage,” the British actor posted in a lengthy statement to Twitter. “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.”

The 34-year-old actor, who identifies as Jewish Austrian and English, explained “representation of ethnic diversity is important” to him as a person who has a “mixed heritage family.”

RELATED: Teaser Trailer For Netflix’s Original Movie ‘Death Note’ Is Here, Whitewashing Outcry Begins

“It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give a voice to inclusivity,” he says, adding he hopes his actions make a difference in the path towards equal representation.

“I am sad to leave ‘Hellboy’ but if this decision brings us closer to that day, it is worth it,” he concludes.

Fans took to Twitter to thank Skrein for his decision to exit the role.

In a new interview with TheWrapNicholas Hoult spoke out about his friend Skrein’s decision to drop out of the movie:

“I agree completely with what Ed did, I think it’s very honourable,” Hoult said. “And I’m proud of him for making that decision…. It’s not an easy decision to make, because, you know, as actors we’re trying to get work.

“But for him to get that role and realize it has been miscast probably on many levels, even though he would have given a great performance, I think it’s important to do that,” he said.

Fans took to Twitter to thank Skrein for his decision to exit the role.



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