Mark Wahlberg’s “Checkered Racist Past” Has Fans Questioning Why He Presented ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ Cast With SAG Award
Indie hit Everything, everywhere, all at once had a big night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday (February 26), although some fans are calling the ceremony because Mark Wahlberg is presenting the cast with an award, despite his violent past.
Wahlberg – who was arrested for committing hate crimes on two separate occasions in the 1980s when he was a teenager living in Boston – presented the mostly Asian cast of the Oscar-nominated film with the award for outstanding performance.
Fans were quick to share their thoughts online. “REALLY interesting that Will Smith wasn’t invited to present Best Actress while Mark Wahlberg is presenting the ensemble award to a film with a mostly Asian cast when he punched and nearly blinded a Vietnamese man…” one Twitter user. He wrote.
It is standard tradition for the recipient of the Best Actor Oscar to present the Best Actress category at the following year’s ceremony.
Another tweet suggested“I feel like Mark Wahlberg (or his management) wanted his checkered racist past to fade into obscurity by awarding the SAG Award to EEEAAO it wouldn’t be on the list of concerts they had to attend.”
Wahlberg’s history of racially motivated violence is no secret in the industry. At the age of 15, Wahlberg and his friends chased three black kids on their bikes, yelling racial slurs and throwing rocks at them. The very next day, he and a group of other white men molested a group of black children who were reportedly about nine or 10 years old. He was found guilty of violating the civil rights of his victims and a civil rights order was issued against him.
In 1988, two years later, Wahlberg assaulted two Vietnamese men on two separate occasions on the same day, per The independent. He beat a man unconscious with a five-foot long stick and later punched an army veteran in the eye the same day. Officers said he used racial slurs to describe the two victims.
He was charged with attempted murder, but eventually pleaded guilty to a felony, claiming he was high at the time. Wahlberg was sentenced to two years in prison for violating a civil rights order filed against him after his first offense, but he went on to serve only 45 days.
Wahlberg addressed his past in an interview with The guardian in 2020, saying at the time, “I certainly made a lot of terrible mistakes, and I paid dearly for those mistakes.” The actor explained that he “did the work” to change his circumstances after completing his time in prison.
“Also, I was proud that I did the right thing and changed my life. “Whether I found myself launching into Hollywood and a music career, or working a 9-to-5 as a construction worker, whichever path I was going to take, I was going to do the right thing,” he continued. “Well, I think not, judging a person for what they do and where they come from and all that stuff, no, I would hope that people could get a second chance at life.”
Wahlberg also applied for a criminal pardon in 2017 to clear his criminal record.
Everything, everywhere, all at once swept the SAGs on Sunday. Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan became the first Asian performers to win their respective categories – best actress and supporting actor – and Jamie Lee Curtis won best supporting actress over Angela Bassett in a stunning upset.
The film may have swept the categories that night (pointing to the film’s performance at the Oscars in March), but the night ended on a bittersweet note for viewers at home.