Simu Liu has sparked online criticism for deleting an older tweet in which he condemned Mark Wahlberg’s pardon request over a 1988 assault on two Vietnamese men.
The deleted tweet: “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 wrote in 2018.
- Court documents revealed that then 16-year-old Wahlberg attacked two Vietnamese American men in Boston on April 8, 1988.
- Wahlberg, who admitted to being intoxicated, was arrested, charged with attempted murder, convicted of assault and served 45 days in prison.
- Liu, who has been known to speak out on racial issues, was among those who called out Wahlberg for trying to get an official pardon.
- However, Liu’s followers noticed that the actor removed the 2018 tweet just days after it was announced that he would be starring in an upcoming film with the actor.
- Critics blasted Liu for deleting the tweet and accused him of selling out and backtracking on statements.
So I think it’s pretty obvious why I would delete a tweet like this. I’m trying to set the stage to have progressive conversations and take positive action instead of just hurling stones.
I understand the anger but I don’t appreciate the immediate hostility and harassment.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) December 19, 2020
Taking positive action: In response to the social media backlash, Liu explained that he deleted the tweet to “have progressive conversations and take positive action instead of just hurling stones.”
- Some users rebuked the actor, asking him how he plans to conduct these “progressive conversations.”
- Others reminded Liu of Wahlberg’s other issues of hate crimes in the past, including an incident in which he chased and yelled racial slurs at a group of Black children.
- In a follow-up statement, Liu wrote on Instagram how he sees his character in “Arthur the King” as “undoubtedly a positive representation of an Asian man.”
- Saying he deleted the tweet “as a gesture of professionalism,” Liu further explained: “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.”
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- Liu’s post received some positive feedback from followers who pointed out the irony of the backlash against a person of color who is just trying to keep his job.
- “What we are not gonna do is bring down a fellow Asian for the words and actions of a white co star,” artist Soju commented. “Asian Americans have to juggle our model citizen stereotype while also not trying to down play all the low key racism we face on the daily. Either ways we don’t have the man power or the support of rest of the country to freely speak up and fight against racism towards our community without jeopardizing our job or positions.”
Feature Image via Simu Liu