The Internet Wants To Cancel Mark Wahlberg Over Past Hate Crimes

Mark Wahlberg

It’s a difficult and anxious time for the United States and the world right now, and the Black Lives Matter protests represent an inevitable boiling point for inequality. Over the last few weeks, many celebrities and other public figures have pledged their support for the movement, including Mark Wahlberg. However, some people have brought up the actor’s own history of hate crimes to claim that he should be “cancelled.”

Wahlberg posted the following call for unity on his Twitter page last week:

Since then, he’s been targeted for his past actions, which involved a series of racially-motivated incidents when the actor was a teenager in the 1980s. The cases in question are well-documented on his Wikipedia page, including harassment of black children and a violent attack on a Vietnamese man that led to a brief prison sentence. Although Wahlberg did face court again for an attack on a neighbor in 1992, he continued to find success as a musician, model and actor.

His comment on Black Lives Matter has, then, caused many people to call out the star for hypocrisy, and below you can find but a sample of what they’re saying:

Mark Wahlberg

Others have, without excusing Wahlberg’s past actions, pointed out that cancelling him is an extreme reaction:

It’s a difficult situation to be in: Wahlberg’s clearly done some terrible things in his life, but the majority of them occurred during what was a troubled adolescence. Does this excuse what he did? No, of course not, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t changed in the thirty or so years since, even if he did make a divisive attempt to receive a pardon for his convictions as recently as 2014.

Perhaps the main message to come away from the controversy around Wahlberg is that the actor should have been more careful about weighing in on the current protests without acknowledging his own past actions. Maybe being upfront about his regret and how he changed his mind would have been the more thoughtful approach, especially given that his past crimes make him an easy target for hypocrisy.

Mark Wahlberg has yet to respond to the backlash against his post, and it may be that he’s chosen to not engage in a debate that will only aggravate his position. At the very least, it’s important for any celebrity, even those without such a problematic history, to think twice about whether they’re really in the best position to comment on issues that may only lead to further anger and claims of hypocrisy.