Mark Wahlberg Under Attack For Awards Presentation Due To Revived Assault Allegations

Online commentators are protesting Mark Wahlberg presenting a SAG Award to the cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once after previous allegations of anti-Asian assault.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

mark wahlberg

The cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once is having a moment right now, with Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ke Huy Quan taking home SAG Awards for their performances. The whole cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once also nabbed the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award, though the choice of presenter for that award was a strange one. Mark Wahlberg, who was once convicted of assaulting two Vietnamese men, presented the award to the largely Asian cast.

Rolling Stone reported on the controversial decision to have Mark Wahlberg present the award. In 1988, a then-16-year-old Wahlberg assaulted two Vietnamese American men named Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh, beating Lam unconscious with a stick and punching Trinh. Wahlberg, who claimed he was high on PCP at the time, shouted several racial slurs during the assault, according to the investigators.

Mark Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder, which was reduced to assault felony for the crime. The sentence was two years in prison, though Walhberg only ended up serving 45 days. Wahlberg would eventually apply for a pardon before dropping it after protests.

Mark Wahlberg has apologized for the assault several times over the years and says he was able to meet with Trinh and apologize to him and his family. However, it’s still an odd choice to have him present the award with this in mind. It’s true that it wasn’t public knowledge that the cast would win the award, but Everything Everywhere All at Once has a good chance to win quite a few awards this award season, so it might have been a better idea for the SAG Awards to choose a different presenter.

Michelle Yeoh Stephanie Hsu and Ke Huy Quan Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once

Despite the Mark Wahlberg controversy, the cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once has a lot to celebrate. The always fantastic Michelle Yeoh is finally getting her flowers from Hollywood, becoming the first Asian person to win the SAG award for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role. She can add this to her trophy case along with her newly won Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy).

Yeoh also nabbed her first Oscar nomination, making her the second-ever nominee of Asian descent in the best actress category. Along with their Golden Globes and SAG wins, the movie is nominated for a whopping 10 Oscars including Yeoh’s nomination. The rest of the noms include Best Supporting Actress for both Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu, Best Supporting Actor for Ke Huy Quan, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and the coveted Best Picture Award.

It seems unlikely that the Academy Awards would invite similar controversy and have Mark Wahlberg present any awards that Everything Everywhere All at Once might win. Of course, the Academy is no stranger to racial controversy, though they have tried to address diversity issues in recent years. If you want to see if Everything Everywhere All at Once can sweep the Oscars, you can tune in for the ceremony on March 12.