An announcement was made just days ago that brought to light an issue that runs deep in the entertainment industry. It’s not the first time it’s happened and it likely won’t be the last, but when actor Ed Skrein stepped away from Hellboy due to ‘Whitewashing’ in Hollywood – it made a statement.
— Ed Skrein (@edskrein) August 28, 2017
Ed’s decision wowed a lot of people and since his post to Twitter, many have weighed in on the importance of what he said and what it means to entertainment.
Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Millennium and Lionsgate spoke out on Ed’s decision and said they supported the decision. They also said that they didn’t mean to be insensitive in their own decision-making process.
‘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.’
Since his departure, Ed has gained a lot of positive feedback on social media and new fans who were thrilled that someone spoke up about an issue people feel so passionately about. He’s also received positive feedback from other people in the business.
Russell Boast, casting director and head of the Casting Society of America’s diversity committee, had this to say.
‘He’s going to be remembered for authentic representation on screen. I think his decision will resonate with many actors who have never thought about standing up and saying they don’t want to be a part of this whitewashing game that’s being played.’
Julia Kim, Indie casting director, went on to say that he set an example for others, too.
‘I think it’s remarkable he chose to leave. He could have really benefitted from a big role like this in a big film. But it would have been negative attention if he stayed, and this is positive attention. In a way, he shifted the responsibility to the actors themselves and fixed the problem from inside out. That sets a platform for other actors to either follow or not follow.’
If more actors and actresses are willing to speak up and say no to roles – even if they’re big ones – the rules of the business will have to be changed.
‘…but I knew him’