Ed Skrein pulls out of ‘Hellboy’ film after backlash

EXCLUSIVE - Ed Skrein seen at "DEADPOOL" Blu-ray and DVD Press Event on Monday, April 11, 2016, in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment/AP Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — British actor Ed Skrein has withdrawn from the upcoming “Hellboy” reboot a week after his casting sparked outcries of whitewashing.

In a lengthy post on his social media channels on Monday, Skrein says he accepted the role unaware of its mixed Asian heritage. He says the uproar that resulted was “understandable” and that he was stepping down “so the role can be cast appropriately.”

The character Skrein was to play, Ben Daimio, is Japanese-American in the “Hellboy” comics the films are based on. Critics said Skrein’s casting was just the latest instance of an Asian or Asian-American role being handed to a white actor.

Skrein says he didn’t wish to be a part of the “worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the arts.”

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