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‘Hellboy’ Producer’s Comments Prove Why Whitewashing Is Such An Issue

"We are all one. We don’t see colours or race."

08/25/2017 11:30 EDT | Updated 08/25/2017 11:30 EDT
Ed Skrein/Twitter
Japanese-American character Benjamin Daimio from "Hellboy."

The internet has no shortage of stories about whitewashing, but the latest controversy surrounding white actor Ed Skrein, who was cast as Japanese-American character Benjamin Daimio in the "Hellboy" reboot, is proving to be quite problematic.

On Twitter, executive producer Christa Campbell had a pretty unfortunate response when defending the film's casting choice to one particular user named Mike Smith.

In his tweet, Smith called Campbell "racist" and threatened to boycott all her films, including the recently released "The Hitman's Bodyguard," which she also produced.

According to NextShark, Campbell responded in a now-deleted tweet, saying, "Someone comes and does a great audition to get the role. Stop projecting your own shit onto us. We are all one. We don't see colours or race."

This comment raised more than just a few eyebrows, as many consider the phrase "I don't see colour" equivalent to saying "I'm ignorant."

Zach Stafford, editor-in-chief of INTO, explained this "colourblind" phenomenon in an opinion piece for The Guardian.

"'Colorblindness' doesn't acknowledge the very real ways in which racism has existed and continues to exist, both in individuals and systemically," he wrote in 2015. "By professing not to see race, you're just ignoring racism, not solving it."

When a user jumped into the Twitter conversation to side with Campbell, another responded by saying that they simply "didn't understand the issue."

That in turn prompted Campbell to defend the movie once more in another now-deleted tweet: "Issue? Please... The best actor gets the job. Stop using the 'racist' word. My family is from Thailand. And a mixed culture. Get a life."

Campbell's tweets are problematic because she doesn't recognize the casting in "Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen" as whitewashing at all.

In addition to that, fans are upset because they don't believe a white actor can do character Benjamin Daimio's character justice, when Daimio's Japanese heritage is supposed to play a vital role in the film's plot. And on top of all that, Skrein took the opportunity away from an Asian actor.

As we know from plenty of whitewashing controversies in the past, this is an issue because Asian actors rarely get the chance to play lead roles in Hollywood, and when they do, they are often stereotypical.

On Twitter, many still can't believe Campbell's response to whitewashing and are continuing to call her out.

The Asian community just wants to see themselves represented onscreen and have their voices heard and stories told. Unfortunately, that will never happen if people continue to be ignorant about the issue of whitewashing and continue to take away opportunities to change it.