Twitter Responds To Ed Skrein’s Casting As Japanese-American Character In Hellboy Reboot

Posted by August 24, 2017 Comment

When Ed Skrein was cast as Ben Daimio in Neil Marshall‘s R-Rated Hellboy reboot, it was a happy day for Skrein, who posted to Twitter announcing his excitement and praising Hellboy creator Mike Mignola:

But it was not a happy day for many who pointed out another instance of Hollywood casting Asian or Asian-American characters with white actors. It didn’t take long for the responses to Skrein’s tweet to pour in, and they had a common theme:

https://twitter.com/paulengelhard/status/899976257429012481

With director Lexi Alexander chiming in as well:

Some recalled recent past incidents of whitewashing in Hollywood:

Comic book writer, former Comics Alliance Editor-in-Chief, and former Bleeding Cool contributor Andrew Wheeler also added his voice to the objections:

Mike Mignola seemed to be amongst the few who was pleased about the casting:

Earning his own rebukes:

https://twitter.com/RandomUserX99/status/900226034917945344

While some attempted to argue in Skrein’s favor:

While others… looked on the bright side?

The thread went on like that for dozens more posts, the general consensus being that Skrein’s casting was a bad idea. And recent evidence would seem to show that it’s an unprofitable one. Whitewashing and white savior controversies have helped to tank several high profile projects recently. Ghost in the Shell was a flop at the box office after casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead. Netflix’s Death Note has already been panned by critics in large part for whitewashing, just like Marvel’s Iron Fist was panned for failing to seize the opportunity to remove the white savior aspect from the story by casting an Asian-American actor as Danny Rand. Iron Fist was apparently successful enough, though its Rotten Tomatoes rating stands at 17%, compared to the 92-98% earned by Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil. Films like The Great Wall underperformed despite making a profit following criticism of Matt Damon‘s role in the China-produced flick.

How will this controversy affect the Hellboy reboot? The franchise doesn’t have a historically huge margin of error, with the first two Hellboy films making just $99 million and $160 million in global box office totals on respective budgets of $66 million and $85 million. The last thing the movie needs is months of bad press leading up to its release, but Hollywood has been slow to adapt to changing sensibilities. Can Hellboy Redux course-correct before its planned 2018 release, or will whitewashing criticism dominate the movie’s press and social media narrative from now until then?

We’ll find out soon enough.

h/t Deadline

(Last Updated August 24, 2017 8:32 am )

About Jude Terror

A prophecy says that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero will come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Scourge of Rich Johnston, maker of puns, and seeker of the Snyder Cut, Jude Terror, sadly, is not the hero comics needs right now... but he's the one the industry deserves.

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