Ed Skrein penned a heartfelt explanation for why he ultimately decided to turn down a role in the upcoming “Hellboy” reboot, and the internet took notice.
As of Tuesday morning, his announcement has been retweeted more than 35,000 times, liked by more than 116,000 people on Twitter, and his name found its way to the top of trending lists across social media.
“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,” he wrote. “I feel it is important to honor and respect that.”
He added, “Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family.”
Some big-name Hollywood talent praised Skrein’s decision, including a number of actors fresh off some recent breakout roles.
Well done Ed Skrein.
Respect to you and Archway Pool….
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) August 29, 2017
Wow ur the realest actor in the industry 🙌🏽 thanks for looking out for our minority
— Shawn Don (@realshawnisaac) August 29, 2017
While missing out on one paycheck, Skrein’s decision might actually help him land other roles.
Director Ava DuVernay and writer/producer Leonard Chang both gave a bit of a nod Skrein’s way for his show of goodwill.
Doing the right thing goes a long way, and it earned Skrein a ton of new fans. Many of them realize he isn’t yet a big name in Hollywood and turning down a big role was a huge risk.
Regardless of if you agree with his decision, you have to respect this move. I certainly do.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) August 28, 2017
People saying that Ed Skrein ‘just quit a film’ – he walked away from a VERY LARGE PAYCHECK. Quit your job on a principle, and then reply.
— Tony Lee (@mrtonylee) August 29, 2017
I hope he’s rewarded with a rather large and dedicated fandom. I know I’ll be part of it.
— Geoff LaTulippe (@DrGMLaTulippe) August 29, 2017
“Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola and actor David Harbour, slated to play the titular character, offered some major kudos Skrein’s way, as well.
So why is Skrein getting so much praise for a decision that should be an industry standard? Because it’s not yet standard.
White actors being cast to play Asian roles isn’t a new phenomenon, but Skrein’s decision proves moviegoers are taking notice. Studios are being forced to consider casting decisions from an ethical point of view, early in the production process.
To have fans and whitewashing advocates loudly and proudly reinforcing his decision and to be heard by Hollywood’s studio decision-makers, is a step in the right direction.