7 Times Hollywood Whitewashed (And Straightwashed) Comic Book Characters

Seriously, why is this still even a thing?

Arrow John Constantine
The CW

Monday's announcement that Ed Skrein would not, in fact, be taking on the role of Ben Daimo in Neil Marshall's upcoming Hellboy reboot generated a heck of a lot of interest this week.

The actor, most famous for playing Ajax in last year's Deadpool, was announced for the role the week beforehand, but many quickly alerted to the fact that Daimo was of asian descent in the original Mignola B.P.R.D. comic; Skrein's casting in the role, so to speak, seemingly typified Hollywood's laissez faire approach to casting, and - in the comic book genre at least - whitewashing has been a topic of conversation for a while.

Skrein's decision to resign from the role must of course be commended; it's a bold step for any actor to take, particularly one such as he, who would've undoubtedly benefited from a starring role in the already promising Rise of the Blood Queen. It must be said, however, that the genre (both on screen and off it), has a massive problem regarding representation. Both POC and LGBT* characters are frequently erased from the conversation, with whitewashing and indeed straightwashing having proven prevalent amongst the big two for what feels like decades at this point.

Things simply have to change, and we can only hope that Skrein's message - that representation matters - signals a change in attitude sooner, rather than later.

Content Producer/Presenter
Content Producer/Presenter

Resident movie guy at WhatCulture who used to be Comics Editor. Thinks John Carpenter is the best. Likes Hellboy a lot. Can usually be found talking about Dad Movies on his Twitter at @EwanRuinsThings.