'Grateful to now call you #friend,' Kim says in Instagram photo

Daniel Dae Kim and Ed Skrein can now officially call each other friend.

The two actors recently met and got acquainted after Skrein dropped out of the upcoming Hellboy movie in response to complaints of whitewashing an Asian-American character — thereby clearing the way for Kim to play the role and also making a statement about representation in Hollywood.

“I don’t necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason, but I’m sure glad this did,” Kim wrote Tuesday alongside an Instagram photo of him with his arm around Skrein. “Thanks for the opportunity to get to know one another in person, @edskrein. Grateful to now call you #friend.”

Kim also included the hashtags #SkreinRhymesWithWine and #TaleOfTwoDaimios.

Skrein, who is white, initially became attached to the role of Hellboy‘s Ben Daimio, a military man who is Japanese-American in the original comics. Amid an online outcry, Skrein vacated the role, saying he had been unaware of the character’s origins and was compelled to “do what I feel is right.”

“It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the Arts,” he added. “It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity.”

Skrein’s decision drew praise from colleagues and fans.

Kim, who is Korean-American, replaced Skrein as Daimio and commended him “for championing the notion that Asian characters should be played by Asian or Asian-American actors.” He added that Skrein “could not have addressed the issue more elegantly and I remain indebted to him for his strength of character.”

Stranger Things actor David Harbour is playing the title role in the movie, which is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2018.

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