On June 4th the actor tweeted an image of Floyd with the following caption, “The murder of George Floyd is heartbreaking. We must all work together to fix this problem. I’m praying for all of us. God bless. #blacklivesmatter,” he wrote.
Soon and very soon, Twitter users began to point out the hypocrisy, using Wahlberg’s Wikipedia page as their tool.
While, the page has since been edited, it does report that in the 1980’s while Wahlberg was a young man living in Boston, Massachusetts he was involved in two separate incidents, Page Six reports.
The first occurred in 1986 when he, along with a group of other white teenagers, threw rocks at a group of fourth grade Black students yelling “kill the n—–s.” The assault halted after an ambulance driver intervened on behalf of the Black students. Wahlberg and two of his friends were issued a civil rights injunction.
Then again in 1988, a then-16-year-old Wahlberg attacked two Vietnamese men while trying to steal beer near his home in Dorchester. He only served 45 days of a two-year sentence for the assaults. In that incident, he reportedly also used racial slurs against his victims.
“Mark Wahlberg hurled rocks at black children while screaming “Kill the n*****s!” He beat a Vietnamese man unconscious and was charged for attempted murder,” comic book artist Adam Ellis wrote on Twitter. “He’s committed at least 5 hate crimes. He only apologized while seeking a pardon 26 years later.”
Publicist Danny Deraney tweeted: “If you still don’t know what white privilege is, Mark Wahlberg committed hate crimes, has a Wikipedia section dedicated to it, and we never ever talk about it.”
After the events were exposed, the “Hate crimes” section on his Wikipedia page was edited to “Racial incidents.”
Another Twitter user named @JamboEveryone used their platform to highlight that while Wahlberg, has enjoyed commercial success for over the past 30 years, even in the face of his shameful past, Black actors have to worry about speaking truth to power, in fear of their careers being ruined.
“Wait a minute,” he wrote. “John Boyega is worried he won’t work again because he was vocal at an anti-racism protest but Mark Wahlberg has a slew of hate crime incidents on his Wikipedia page but he has jobs left and right. What the actual F.”
Last week Boyega gave an impassioned speech regarding his humanity as a Black man and actor, where he acknowledged that his words could cost him his livelihood.
In 2016, Wahlberg ended his campaign for a pardon in the 1988 attacks, which began in 2014. That year at the Toronto International Film festival, he expressed his regret over asking for a pardon, but also reportedly stated he felt “some good did come out of it.” At some point after the vicious crimes, he was able to meet and apologize to one of the men he assaulted.
Wahlberg has not yet commented on the hate crimes after its recent resurfacing, but we can expect an apology way quicker than it took for him to acknowledge his mistakes. As racial injustice continues to stay top of mind, many past demons continue coming to the light, and rightfully so.