The 2023 SAG Awards is catching flak for Mark Wahlberg’s role in the ceremony, presenting an award to the predominantly Asian cast of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” — 35 years after he was accused of hate crimes against Asians.
In 1988, the 51-year-old actor was convicted for assaults he committed in Boston when he was 16 toward two Vietnamese American men. Wahlberg hit Thanh Lam in the head with a stick while trying to steal alcohol and punched Johnny Trinh in the face. He alleged that he was high at the time.
He was charged as an adult with attempted murder and sentenced to two years on felony assault, but served only 45 days. In 2014, he applied for a pardon — a bid he dropped in 2016.
“I have apologized, many times,” he told the AP in December 2014. “The first opportunity I had to apologize was right there in court when all the dust had settled and I was getting shackled and taken away, and making sure I paid my debt to society and continue to try and do things that make up for the mistakes that I’ve made.”
But that wasn’t the only racist incident Wahlberg committed.
In 1986, Wahlberg and his white friends began hurling rocks and shouting racial epithets at a group of mostly black fourth-grade students on a field trip to the beach and chased them down the street. He was not tried and convicted for this attack, but was found guilty of violating the civil rights of his victims. The AP called it “essentially a stern warning that if they committed another hate crime, they would be sent to jail.”
At the SAG Awards Sunday, Wahlberg presented the final award of the evening for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture to the mostly Asian cast of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” — including Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh and Vietnamese actor Ke Huy Quan.
The Post has reached out to reps for Wahlberg for comment.
Many took to social media to criticize the decision, saying the choice is “embarrassing for Hollywood.”
“I gotta say, having Mark Wahlberg, who literally went to jail as a teen for committing a hate crime against a Vietnamese man, present an award to the cast of Everything Everywhere All At Once was certainly a choice,” journalist Bonnie Stiernberg tweeted.
“The irony of Mark Wahlberg giving an award to EEAAO,” one person wrote.
“mark wahlberg (who’s committed multiple hate crimes including against asian people) giving sag ensemble prize to a predominantly asian cast is genuinely such an embarrassing thing for hollywood to do,” another said.
“Having Mark Wahlberg present this is so ugly,” someone commented.
“not mark wahlberg of all people presenting an award to Everything Everywhere All At Once, a predominantly Asian cast, and saying ‘women are talking’ in the space of 30 seconds,” one person added, referring to Wahlberg’s gaffe calling the film “Women Talking as Women Are Talking.”
“Why did y’all let mark whalberg present an award to a mostly Asian cast after he hate crimed minorities…but ban will smith for a little slap,” someone noted, referring to the now-infamous slap at last year’s Oscars.
“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 predominantly Asian cast when he punched and nearly blinded a Vietnamese man,” another chimed in.
“mark wahlberg the hate crimer giving the cast of eeaao their sag award and having to stand there during their speech when they were talking about the racism towards asians in hollywood,” a user wrote.
“Mark Wahlberg #SAGAwards2023 … presenting to #Asian cast of #EverythingEverywhereAllAtOnce @allatoncemovie … most SAG Awards … ever, including Best Picture … this history involves a man with a history of hate crime in Boston, including on Asians … trying to unpack this,” one person tweeted.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” swept at the awards show — and even reached a historic high point: It received the most SAG Award wins ever for a film, a representative for the organization confirmed to The Post.
The movie scored four awards at the 2023 SAG Awards. Aside from Cast in a Motion picture, the film picked up Best Supporting Actor for Ke Huy Quan, Best Supporting Actress for Jamie Lee Curtis and Best Lead Actress for Michelle Yeoh — and cast member Stephanie Hsu was also nominated. Yeoh made history as the first Asian woman to win in that category.