The studio was quick to replace Skrein after the actor exited the film in late August following public backlash, which reignited conversations about whitewashing in Hollywood, over him being cast in a role that was originally an Asian character in the comics.
Skrein’s casting follows similar recent controversies in which white actors have been set for roles originally portrayed by people of Asian descent. Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a Japanese human-cyborg in “Ghost in the Shell” caused an uproar earlier this year, as did Tilda Swinton’s role as the Ancient One in “Doctor Strange” — a character depicted as an Asian male in the comic source material.
Harbour is playing the titular character in “Hellboy.” Neil Marshall is directing the movie, which also stars Ian McShane and Milla Jovovich.
Kim and his “Hawaii Five-0” costar Grace Park exited the CBS show in June following controversy over salary parity. The actors had been seeking equal pay with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but failed to reach deals with CBS Television Studios.
He addressed the exit in a Facebook post in early July. “Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue,” Kim wrote.
“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,” he added. “I will miss him sincerely. What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love. It has been nothing short of an honor to be able to showcase the beauty and people of Hawaii every week, and I couldn’t be prouder to call these islands home.”
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