Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu deleted a 2018 tweet Saturday that condemned his Arthur the King co-star Mark Wahlberg for viciously beating two Vietnamese men when he was a teen.
As a 16-year-old, Wahlberg was convicted of assault and battery against two Vietnamese men, stemming from separate incidents that occurred on the same day, in 1988. According to an Independent report, “he called one man, Thanh Lam, a ‘Vietnam f*cking sh*t’ and knocked him unconscious with a five-foot wooden stick while punching another man, army veteran Johnny Trinh, in the eye.”
Per police reporting, Wahlberg referred to his victims with racial slurs as he was being arrested. He later pled guilty to felony assault; however, he served just 45 days of his two-year sentence. In 2014, Wahlberg submitted a request to have his criminal record expunged. Wahlberg also issued an apology, and Trinh later forgave him.
“Let me get this straight, Mark Wahlberg beat a helpless Vietnamese man with a stick until he passed out when he was 16, and is attempting to get the courts to grant him an official pardon on the basis that he’s ‘turned his life around?'” Liu said in his now-deleted tweet from 2018.
However, Liu’s deletion of the tweet prompted multiple discussions and accusations that he sold out. It was recently announced Liu and Whalberg are going to star alongside one another in Arthur the King, which is slated to begin production in January.
Liu penned an explanation for the tweet’s deletion on Instagram.
“I deleted a couple of tweets I made regarding the past actions of one of my co-stars as a gesture of professionalism and to open to door to progressive conversations and (hopefully) positive change,” wrote Liu. “Obviously, it’d be pretty weird to go to work with that tweet still up. I meant what I said in the moment; I was very angry hearing about what happened.”
“But that doesn’t mean I don’t think there’s room to grow and work together to find an opportunity to educate and do some good- which I’m excited to do in addition to shooting the movie. Progressive discussion will lead to dialogue, and dialogue will lead to action,” he continued.
While suitable for many, his explanation angered others as they saw it as Liu smoothing over the deserved scrutiny of Wahlberg’s crimes for “the bag.”
In defense of Liu, however, some are pointing out that he shouldn’t get more scrutiny for deleting a 4-year-old tweet than Wahlberg should still be getting for committing the crime in the first place.
“So let me get this straight – people are getting on Simu Liu’s case for deleting a tweet calling out Mark Wahlberg’s racism (mind you, the tweet was up for ages already) …. but no one is questioning how and why Mark Wahlberg is still getting jobs?” one Twitter user wrote.
“Y’all getting mad at simu for wanting to keep his job, knowing how hard it is for poc. And NOT? Mark for beating a man. I see now,” user @stark.lau wrote on Liu’s Instagram post.
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