Daniel Dae Kim has been cast in the Hellboy role that Ed Skrein vacated, and the Lost alum is now praising Skrein for his decision to step down from the project.
In a new statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Kim confirmed that he has been cast as Major Ben Daimio in Hellboy and was quick to thank Ed Skrein for his actions.
“I applaud the producers and, in particular, Ed Skrein for championing the notion that Asian characters should be played by Asian or Asian American actors,” Kim said. “He could not have addressed the issue more elegantly and I remain indebted to him for his strength of character.”
Daniel Dae Kim subsequently chimed in on Twitter, saying that it’s official that he’s going to be in Hellboy.
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) September 13, 2017
Last month, it was announced that Ed Skrein had been cast in the Hellboy reboot, and there was subsequently some controversy online over the fact that he’d be playing a character who was Asian-American in the comics. This would continue a trend of white actors being cast as characters who was originally Asian, such as Tilda Swinton playing The Ancient One in Doctor Strange.
Just a week after the announcement, Skrein said on his Twitter account that he would be stepping down from the film, imploring the studio to cast an Asian actor instead.
“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 voice in the Arts,” Skrein said. “I feel it is important to honor and respect that.”
Ed Skrein was widely praised for this decision, especially by Asian actors and actresses like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet.
“DAMN, that’s a man,” Bennet wrote on Instagram. “Thank you @edskrein for standing up against hollywoods continuous insensitivity and flippant behavior towards the Asian American community. There is no way this decision came lightly on your part, so thank you for your bravery and genuinely impactful step forward. I hope this inspires other actors/film makers to do the same.”
Daniel Dae Kim just recently became available because earlier this summer, he and Grace Park left Hawaii Five-0 when CBS would not pay them the same as their white co-stars.
“As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho,” Kim said on his Facebook page at the time. “I will miss him sincerely…The path to equality is rarely easy. But I hope you can be excited for the future.”