Mark Wahlberg: A History Of Being Terrible
Sony’s Uncharted movie hits Netflix this week, for those of you who enjoy the globetrotting adventures of Nathan Drake but can’t be bothered to move your goddamn thumbs ever so slightly. The film stars Tom Holland as Drake, and co-stars actor and greasy beef patty kingpin Mark Wahlberg – who, and we can’t stress this enough, suuuuucks.
We’ve mentioned before how certain comedians have troublesome histories, but because the field of movie acting is also full of people with the moral compass of an ill-maintained Arby’s grease trap, we thought it appropriate to shine a light on the dark corner that is Mark Wahlberg’s life, starting with how …
As A Minor, Mark Wahlberg Committed Multiple Hate Crimes
If it wasn’t for the internet, you might think that the worst thing Mark Wahlberg ever did was Daddy’s Home 2. But back in 1986, a 15-year-old Wahlberg and two of his friends repeatedly harassed and even attacked, young Black schoolchildren in Boston. According to the Massachusetts Attorney General, Wahlberg and his pals chased a group of children down the street while riding mopeds shouting "Kill the n****r,” and throwing rocks.
Then, the following day, Wahlberg and his friends again encountered the kids, who were on a field trip to the beach, at which point they “yelled racial slurs and again threw rocks at the children.” A Black student and a white student were hit in the head, and their teacher had to call an ambulance – the driver of which eventually “chased” the teens away.
This was by no means an isolated incident; in 1988, a 16-year-old Wahlberg (who was on PCP at the time) attacked a Vietnamese man who was simply walking down the street carrying two cases of beer. Wahlberg hit him with a five-foot wooden stick, calling him a “Vietnam f***ing s**t.”
When he was running from the cops following the assault, he committed yet another hate crime, putting his arm around a Vietnamese man named Johnny Trinh as a squad car passed, and then punching him in the eye when it was gone. There have been rumors over the years that Wahlberg’s assault blinded his victim, but according to Trinh, he had already lost his left eye “in a 1975 grenade explosion while he was with the South Vietnamese army.”
When he was finally arrested, Wahlberg confessed to the crime and made “numerous unsolicited racial statements about ‘g**ks’ and ‘slant-eyed g**ks.’” He was originally charged with attempted murder but eventually “his charge was reduced to criminal contempt,” to which he pled guilty.
And, look, obviously, no one wants to be judged for what they did as a teenager; people can evolve over time and better themselves, hence why no one’s first dance at their wedding is to Limp Bizkit’s “Hot Dog.” But Wahlberg’s past actions are unquestionably horrific – which isn’t to say that no one deserves a second chance, but examining the details makes it really hard to want to give him the benefit of the doubt. For one thing, while Wahlberg was sentenced to two years at the Deer Island House of Correction, he only served a mere 45 days of his sentence.
In 2014, Wahlberg sought a pardon for these crimes, claiming: “I woke up in prison and realized the mistakes that I had made, and the pain that I had caused people. I committed to turning my life around.”
But people were immediately skeptical of Wahlberg’s motivations for seeking a pardon. The Hollywood Reporter noted at the time that it likely had less to do with moral absolution, and more to do with the building of his crappy burger joint chain. Wahlberg literally wrote on his application for the pardon that he was concerned that he might “be denied a concessionaire’s license on the basis of my prior record,” an apparent reference to a planned expansion of his Wahlburgers franchise. As of 2006, he hadn’t even “apologized to his victims,” seemingly underscoring that this wasn’t about making things right so much as it was about hawking greasy slabs of beef.
And Wahlberg’s behavior following these incidents seems to indicate that he hadn’t committed to turning his life around …
Yeah, He Kept Assaulting People As An Adult Too
Wahlberg eventually apologized to Tranh, who said he deserved a “second chance” – while other past victims were far less forgiving, telling reporters: “If you're a racist, you're always going to be a racist.” Wahlberg ultimately dropped the pardon request, but according to the actor, it really wasn’t necessary because he’d spent “28 years righting the wrong.” Did you though, Mark?
In the early ‘90s, Wahlberg was a big star, thanks to the worst white hip-hop music career that never mentioned mutant turtles. Despite his celebrity, in 1992, Wahlberg assaulted his neighbor, a 20-year-old security guard, while his bodyguard held him down. The victim “later had to have his jaw wired shut.” In this case, though, Wahlberg was reportedly responding to a “racial slur” directed at his bodyguard, who was Black. Wahlberg ended up settling the case just days before a criminal trial was set to begin.
Regardless, “Marky Mark” was everywhere, thanks in part to a series of Calvin Klein commercials in which a shirtless Wahlberg grabbed his junk, cavorted with a topless Kate Moss (who alleged that he body-shamed her during the shoot), and claimed that the “best protection against AIDS is to keep your Calvins on.” Holy crap, really? That is a hell of a slogan. Why didn’t Nike or Burger King ever think to casually reference any devastating health crises in their commercials?
Around this time, CAAAV (the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) launched a campaign “demanding that Calvin Klein remove Mark Wahlberg as their spokesperson” for what should be obvious reasons. They even reportedly held a press conference in Times Square with a cardboard cut-out of Wahlberg “next to replica tombstones bearing the names of the victims of anti-Asian hate crimes.” As a result, Wahlberg’s publicist agreed to have the star appear in an anti-racism PSA for television. We’d link to the YouTube video of said PSA, but we can’t, because it never actually happened.
Why? Well apparently Wahlberg was too busy dealing with allegations of yet another assault, this time involving Madonna’s entourage, and a fight that started after Wahlberg, according to a police report “started making disparaging remarks about homosexuals" – at which point he allegedly “pushed nightclub owner John Enos and punched Maverick Productions bigwig Guy Oseary in the nose.” Which, to be honest, partly explains why Wahlberg turned down Brokeback Mountain, stating that he was “creeped out” by the gay love story. And it also explains why some people were extremely upset that he was cast in 2020’s Joe Bell, a movie about a father crusading against homophobic bullying. And speaking of more recent movies …
Remember How He Profited Off Of The Kevin Spacey Scandal?
It’s almost impressive that Mark Wahlberg somehow found a way to become the villain of a film production that co-starred Kevin Spacey. Like literally all you have to do is keep out of the way and not be Kevin Spacey. When director Ridley Scott fired Spacey from the movie All the Money in the World, following allegations of sexual assault, his scenes were famously reshot in a month with Christopher Plummer in the role.
At the time, Scott said that Plummer’s co-stars agreed to do the reshoots for free, purely out of a communal desire to de-Spacey their film as quickly as possible. But it was later revealed that while Michelle Williams was paid an “$80 per diem totaling less than $1,000,” Wahlberg’s team had negotiated a sweet $1.5 million for the additional work. Which further highlighted the inequitable pay gap between male and female performers in Hollywood; Williams was paid “less than 1% of her male co-star” and felt “paralysed in feelings of futility" after finding out about the vast discrepancy between paychecks.
Not to mention that this revelation made it seem like Mark Wahlberg was using the Spacey situation – which, again, was predicated on allegations sexual abuse, including that of a minor – in order to line his pockets. In response to the backlash, Wahlberg ended up donating his reshoot money to the Times Up Legal Defense Fund “in Michelle Williams’ name.”
Lesson learned. Anyways, feel free to check out Wahlberg’s other 2022 movie; Father Stu, a story of redemption co-starring Mel Gibson, written and directed by Gibson’s girlfriend, and featuring Mel Gibson Hitler jokes.
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