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The Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg has found himself in hot water after he presented a 2023 SAG Award to the predominantly Asian cast of Everything Everywhere All At Once on Sunday night. Many found this offensive, given the fact that Wahlberg was convicted of brutally assaulting two Vietnamese American men decades ago.

Wahlberg Hit With Backlash

Social media exploded after Wahlberg handed out the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture to the stars of Everything Everywhere All At Once during the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“Mark Wahlberg was arrested for hate crimes. He’s racist. An Asian man lost his sight after Mark beat him and another Asian man to the brink of death. Having him present an award to ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ seems extremely sinister,” one person tweeted.

“How ironic that Mark Wahlberg, who attacked Asians when he was a young man in Boston, announced the big winner of the #SAGAwards2023 : the mainly Asian American ensemble cast of #EverythingEverywhereAllAtOnce Wahlberg did not seem happy,” another Twitter user added.

“Good for Mark Wahlberg, standing on a stage with all those Asian people without assaulting any of them,” a third user wrote, with a fourth adding, “I’m a @sagaftra member, and I am deeply disappointed by the @SAGawards decision to have Mark Wahlberg present an award that they had to know had a high chance of going to a mostly Asian cast. Incredibly poor taste, given his past crimes.”

Others, however, defended Wahlberg by pointing out that the 51 year-old served his time in jail for his crimes in the 1980s, and that he’s been remorseful ever since.

“So everyone is reacting over Mark Wahlberg presenting an award to a film with a predominantly asian cast because of a crime he did over 30 years ago to an asian bec of his drug issues then served time and did peace with the offended party and turned his life around,” one fan of his tweeted

“Okay then,” the Twitter user added.

Find out more about this controversy in the video below.

Related: Mark Wahlberg Refuses To Deny His Christian Faith Even Though It’s ‘Not Popular’ In Hollywood

Wahlberg’s Assaults 

Page Six reported that Wahlberg was only 16 years-old when he violently assaulted two Asian men back in April of 1988. He knocked his first victim unconscious with a stick while shouting “Vietnam f–king s–t.” Hours later, he punched another Vietnamese American man in the eye, boasting to police afterwards, “I’ll tell you now, that’s the motherf–ker whose head I split open.”

Wahlberg, who has since claimed that he was high on PCP at the time of the assaults, was subsequently charged with attempted murder and pleaded guilty to felony assault. The teenager was sentenced to two years in jail, but he was released after just 45 days. Wahlberg tried to get pardoned for his crimes in 2014, but the request was later dropped. 

Related: Mark Wahlberg Debuts Radical Body Transformation For Faith-Based Role In ‘Father Stu’

Victim Defends Wahlberg

Johnny Trinh, one of the victims, defended Wahlberg at the time of his pardon petition. 

“He was young and reckless but I forgive him now,” Trinh told Daily Mail. “Everyone deserves another chance. … I would like to see him get a pardon. He should not have the crime hanging over him any longer.”

While what Wahlberg did was incredibly wrong, in the decades since, he’s shown that he is a good Christian man who has turned his life around. It’s unfortunate that his past has come back to haunt him simply because he handed out an award to a predominantly Asian cast at an awards show. 

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