Film fans have been flooded Ed Skrein, with the love, after the British actor rejected the role of Major Ben daimyo roly-poly in the new movie Hellboy since the character is of mixed Asian heritage (and is not).
Skrein the decision comes after years of controversy over the whitewashing of Hollywood. The star has been praised for his stance, especially since he is at a crucial point in his career, and won a lot of admirers.
End of the post to Twitter by @rizmc
End of the post to Twitter by @AgentFoo
End of the post to Twitter by @kristenmchugh22
That is Ed Skrein?
Before becoming a Hollywood real-life hero, a Londoner, was best known for his film forward as the villain of Ajax in Deadpool.
He also played the original Daario Naharis in the third season of Game of Thrones.
Other films include The Transporter to Fill in replacing Jason Statham in the franchise, in addition of Ill Manors, and the Killing of His Friends.
Career suicide, or a good move?
Skrein of the statement is “very brave” for someone who is an up-and-coming actor in Hollywood, according to Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro newspaper’s chief film critic.
“He stood for the fight against money laundering, to be included in the blacklist as a troublemaker?” she asks.
“There is that threat. We don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, and the studies can be very closed ranks. Don’t like people making them look bad or cause a fuss.
“But I don’t think it will do his career too much damage. I hope.”
Skrein is on the cusp of the big time, and maybe the studios bank on the fact that instead of being contaminated by a laundering “scandal,” has instantly become the most beloved of members of an industry that is often seen as a mercenary and discriminatory.
Cultural consultant, Harpreet Kaur says: “If I had gone ahead and taken the role, could not have looked so good for his future and his career, but I think now is a model to follow for other people, and not only in the cinema.”
A turning point for Hollywood?
Skrein is the first actor who have publicly rejected a role because he is the wrong ethnicity. After his example, the other actors who will be able to play characters of a different ethnic group and keep their heads anymore?
“This is a really unusual thing for someone to do”, says Larushka Ivan-Zadeh. “It will become a point of reference. This is the manufacture of a support, because he is standing by his convictions.
“I think that will definitely make other players consider the parts they play and take responsibility for it, because that is what they are doing.”
As for studies, Ivan-Zadeh, believes that attitudes are slowly changing.
“Things are starting to change. And the fact that this conversation is not going away, that it keeps happening year after year, is something that people can’t ignore.
“These things keep happening, and have a statement like this keeps the conversation alive on a grand scale. But every time I think of what has changed, then it seems to return”.
A history of Hollywood whitewashing
With the white actors playing characters of a different ethnic origin that has been going on for decades flagrant examples include Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 and Laurence Olivier bitumen for 1965’s Othello.
The debate has intensified in recent years. Jake Gyllenhaal played the title role in 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Johnny Depp was the Native American Tonto in 2013 ‘s The Lone ranger.
In 2016, the Gods of Egypt, of stars such as Gerard Butler played deities Egyptian. Earlier this year, a fuss is met Scarlett Johansson Ghost in the Shell, a live-action remake of a comic Japanese manga, while Emma Stone played a woman of Hawaiian and Chinese heritage in Aloha in 2015.
The argument from studios and financiers has always been that they need a big name to attract enough fans to pay for the tickets and some ethnic groups do not have many big names.
The Director Ridley Scott was criticized for 2014’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, in which white actors such as Christian Bale played Biblical characters.
In the program of the BBC Film of 2014, when it was suggested that he could have used Middle-Eastern actors, a tetchy Scott replied: “Yes, but can you tell me who? If you do not exist? To justify the budget? That was not done, friend. That was not done. You’re dreaming. To dream”.
There was a similar objection when Tom Hardy was rumored to be playing Jafar in Guy Ritchie’s new Aladdin. But Ritchie seems to have reconsidered, and that paper has gone from the Dutch-Tunisian actor Marwan Kenzari.
Kenzari won a Shooting Star Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014 and has had parts in films such as The Mummy, Ben-Hur, and the Murder on the Orient Express, as well as the lead in Netflix The Angel.
So the actors with the experience and the right to the color of the skin. Maybe, if it gives you a break, now we’re going to see a new generation of non-white of the stars of Hollywood that comes through.Not just Hollywood (and not only money laundering)
Broadway has recently been through a similar episode, when the actor Mandy Patinkin has withdrawn from the Tony-winning musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, after being cast to replace Okieriete Onaodowan, which is black in color.
Patinkin is a bigger name than Onaodowan and was brought in to boost ticket sales – but the measure was not well. The show is closing.
And there is a (another) discussion about able-bodied actors playing characters with disabilities, and cisgender actors playing characters transgender.
Last year, Jeffrey Tambor, star of Amazon TV series Transparent, used his Emmy Awards speech to say: “I don’t want to be unhappy to me in the last cisgender male to play a character as a transgender on tv.”
Follow us on Facebookand on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram in bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected]