Daniel Dae Kim has offered Ed Skrein his thanks, now that the latter has dropped out of the Hellboy movie reboot. It's a common story in Hollywood these days. A popular actor gets cast in a movie, and when the news is released, fans don't react the way that the filmmakers hoped because the actor is a different ethnicity than the original character was. Because most roles in Hollywood movies go to white actors, when it happens that the character is supposed to be a person of color and the actor cast in the role is white, that specific practice is commonly referred to as "whitewashing". While the topic is a controversial one (as some feel the role should go to the best actor no matter their ethnicity, and others feel that it's wrong to call out whitewashing but to accept actors of color playing originally-white character), it's also a hot discussion subject nowadays.
Skrein recently found himself in the middle of a whitewashing controversy of his own, when he was cast to play Major Ben Daimio in the Hellboy film reboot. Being cast in a comic book movie in this day and age is a huge win for any actor, seeing as they have been dominating the box office for a good while now. However, when Skrein found out that in the Hellboy comics Daimio is a Japanese-American character, he decided to walk away from the film, and potentially a role that could further boost his starpower, in order to allow an Asian or Asian-American actor to be cast instead. The role was then offered to Daniel Dae Kim, who has since been confirmed as part of the movie's cast.
Kim and Skrein have since met in person, and a new Hollywood bromance has been born. Kim Instagramed a picture of himself and Skrein, where he thanked the other actor for walking away from such a huge role and taking a stand against Hollywood's history of whitewashing:
I don't necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason, but I'm sure glad this did. Thanks for the opportunity to get to know one another in person, @edskrein. Grateful to now call you #friend. #fullcircle #SkreinRhymesWithWine #Hellboy #TaleOfTwoDaimios
Kim recently found himself in another show-business related controversy having to do with his ethnicity. After having starred on Hawaii Five-0 for several seasons, he and Grace Park decided to leave the show. Their reason for doing so was that they were receiving much less pay than their white co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. It is not uncommon for non-white actors to make less money than white actors, and both Kim and Park decided to take a stand by walking away from the TV series. Now, not only does Kim now get to play a role in Hellboy thanks to his schedule having cleared up, but it's also one that makes another statement about Hollywood's inequality issues.
Whether Skrein's actions will encourage other actors to do the same, or help prevent future films from whitewashing in the first place, remains to be seen. At the very least, his actions seem to have led to a new friendship between himself and Kim. And perhaps there is another, more appropriate role out there waiting for him, if not in Hellboy than maybe another comic book movie. There are plenty coming up, after all, and it looks like whatever that role is, his new friend Daniel Dae Kim will be there to support him.
Source: Daniel Dae Kim
- Hellboy (2019) release date: Apr 12, 2019