Check out Mark Wahlberg and his congenial wife, Rhea Durham, at the premiere of The Gambler last night. As you know, Mark’s been in the news lately because he’s requested a pardon for beating people up when he was 16. At the time he spat out some racial slurs to go along with his punches. When asked about his pardon request at the event, Marky Mark explained:
“Everyone has an opinion and has a reason why they think I'm doing it. I've been working very hard to correct a lot of mistakes that I made since the day that I woke up and realized, 'You know what? I need to be a leader instead of a follower.”
Many people, me included, have pointed out that Wahlberg has made no attempt to apologise to his victims. And while he’s been philanthropic, supporting charities, donating money, as cited in this CNN opinion piece, “to this day Wahlberg has never apologized or paid restitution to the victims of his crimes. He also hasn't really acknowledged his pattern of bigoted language and racist violence, which included a separate episode in which he threw rocks at African-American schoolchildren while shouting that "black n******" were unwelcome in his community. And he has never reached out to the Vietnamese-American community or other communities of color with the kind of targeted charity and philanthropic presence befitting someone who was truly remorseful for the repulsive actions of his youth”.
Even though Marky Mark hasn’t made any effort to make it up to the people he harmed, both with his hands and his words (he called them “gooks”, remember?), The Daily Mail has located one of his victims and the victim says he’s let it go. They tracked down Johnny “Hoa” Trinh in Texas. Apparently the man didn’t even know Marky Mark was a famous actor. So he’s contacted by these reporters and they tell him that his assailant is now a movie star and they ask him if he forgives him. And Mr Trinh says he does. That since Marky Mark went to jail (for 45 days) he’s paid his dues. Also he says that Mark hit him and hurt him but that his eye was already sh-tty before Marky came along so he doesn’t blame him for that.
So does that change your mind? Should he have his record cleared (so that he might be able to be a reserve cop with the LAPD)? Everything whitewashed? Or is Wahlberg’s reward, his second chance, the fact that he was able to go on after his youth crimes and become what he’s become today? Many, many, MANY others don’t get that chance. You’ve heard about them in the news, often, lately.
He says he wants to be a leader. A good message from a leader might be to say, “Look at me now, I’m a big deal in Hollywood, I have lots of money, but I’ve made mistakes. And even I can’t wipe them away. I’ll carry those mistakes with me permanently as a reminder of what not to be and as an example to all of you of how you change”.
That wouldn’t be a true Hollywood ending though.