It was reported recently that Japanese-American B.P.R.D. Agent Ben Daimio (were-jaguar) would be making his cinematic debut in the Hellboy reboot. A patriotic leader in the Hellboy universe, Ben is one of the few Asian characters in comic books ripe for a cinematic incarnation.
Well, this has been confirmed by HollywoodReporter but sadly there is a catch. The role has been whitewashed with the casting of British actor Ed Skrein from Deadpool and Game of Thrones.
This news erases yet another Asian character that could have been adapted for the big screen.
Ben’s surname of Daimio is obviously inspired by the Japanese term Daimyo (which has zero linkage to the west). During the feudal era of Japan, the Daimyo were once the great lords who were vassals of the shogun. So, it’s hard to swallow that a character with a Japanese name origin and also Japanese in the comics is now being played by a white actor. It’s basically like giving a character the surname of Shogun or samurai.
It’s 2017, but even after whitewashing backlash from Ghost In The Shell and many other studio projects hurting box office you’d think they’d stop this moronic tactic. Shame on director Neil Marshall, Mike Mignola, and Lionsgate.